The sun sets on the New Day

Back in March, account manager Sarah Bartlett looked at the newest newspaper to be launched in the UK. Just two months on, the paper has closed, and she examines where it all went wrong…

‘Politically neutral’ paper, the New Day, launched in 2016 by Trinity Mirror was swiftly closed on Friday 6 May after just two months in print. Despite an optimistic outlook and an expensive above the line campaign to promote its launch, the paper’s ‘Life is Short’ tag line appears to have been prophetic, rather than poetic.

Figures suggest that towards the end of its existence, the New Day’s circulation was just 40,000 – far lower than the 150,000 target initially suggested. So why did the paper get cut so quickly?

Flicking through the final edition of the New Day, it’s not immediately obvious why the paper did not take off with UK audiences: it seems that those who’d got their hands on a copy were largely positive about its tone and presentation.

However, among those in the media-know, there’s consensus that it lacked a strong enough USP and was over-priced. Others cited a cut-short discounted trial period and limited advertising slots – shoved to the back pages. The real question, however, is how could any publication hope to survive in the digital age WITHOUT a website to help it tap into the widest possible customer base?

The New Day lacked the loyal readers enjoyed by existing papers. Building a new following from scratch –particularly from among online-native millennials – was always going to be a mammoth, if not impossible, task.

In a world where news is fast and free, a news outlet without a website has no place it seems in our modern media landscape. Even one of the UK’s biggest media brands – The Sun – admitted defeat by removing the paywall on its online content.

Alison Phillips remarked in her final editor’s letter ‘sadly we just haven’t reached the sales figures we needed to make the paper work financially’ but she was ‘glad we gave it a crack’.

We said we’d be watching to see if the paper ‘grows, shrinks, or disappears entirely’ – we now have our answer. As the sun sets on the New Day, it remains to be seen whether others will try, where Trinity Mirror failed, to add a new name to our newsstands.

Freshwater delivers diverse public relations and marketing campaigns across private, public and not-for-profit sectors.


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Impact Report 2017

Impact report 2017