The Liverpool Echo has relaunched today with a new design and an approach that will see the newspaper improve its coverage of Everton Football Club, rely less on crime stories and feature a front-page daily listings service.
The changes, making up "the biggest shake-up of [the Echo's] 136-year history”, come after a month-long consultation with readers who provided editor Ali Machray with feedback on Twitter, the website and through letters.
According to the Echo, six “major themes emerged”: “Readers want less crime news, more reporting on things to do in the city, and improved Everton FC coverage. They want a positive image of the city and a paper that looks as bright and as modern as Liverpool feels. Finally, they want the Echo to tighten up on mistakes.”
A Trinity Mirror press release said that as a result of the feedback the newspaper now has a “vibrant design [showcasing] all the city of Liverpool has to offer in an easier to read and more attractive package. Visuals will become more dominant on pages and the colour scheme much brighter.”
The newspaper will also be putting “more emphasis on what’s going on in the arts and culture sectors” and aiming to have “less reliance on front-page crime splashes”.
Machray said: “We set out by asking ourselves what the people of Liverpool really want from their Echo.
“The way our readers consume media has changed dramatically since the turn of the century, and we know the Echo has to adapt to survive.
“Our design and reporting structures came from an era when the city was down on its luck and was based on telling lots of bad news stories.
“21st century Liverpool has evolved into a huge success story. The city has so much to offer, and the Echo needs to reflect that.
“The #TellAli campaign told us all we needed to know with thousands of people helping us shape the newspaper’s future. As a journalist of 36 years, I was touched by the number of people who showed they really cared about their paper.
“It’s been a fantastic effort by everyone involved and I’m delighted that the new Echo is hitting the streets today.”
He added: “The work doesn’t stop here though. The Echo will continue to evolve to reader’s tastes and to the modern, magnificent Liverpool we live in.”
The Liverpool Echo is the second biggest selling regional daily newspaper in the UK with average circulation in the second half of 2014 of 61,902 (down 11.7 per cent year on year).
In the same period its daily website traffic grew by 113.1 per cent year on year to 264,693 (according to ABC).