JPI Media plans to bring forward the deadlines of six print dailies, meaning some titles may not be able to carry late football match reports in print.
The proposed deadline changes at the The Blackpool Gazette, Sunderland Echo, Lancashire Post, Shields Gazette, Wigan Post and Hartlepool Mail could also see some late night breaking news stories fail to make print runs.
Deadlines for the six northern titles, which range from 1am and 2am, could be brought forward by more than six hours from 7.15pm to 9pm.
A spokesperson for JPI Media, formerly Johnston Press, said the publisher “is continually assessing opportunities to efficiently structure the distribution network of our titles”.
“Our daily and weekly newspaper titles in the North West, along with the daily titles in the North East, are currently distributed direct to our retailers,” they added.
“The rest of the newspaper distribution in JPI Media is handled by the wholesaler network and we would like to bring the NW and NE in line with the rest of the company.
“We appreciate this decision will bring forward the print deadlines of these titles and impact our coverage of live, midweek sport.”
They added that sports fans would still be able to access match reports and analysis on digital platforms.
“We are committed to ensuring we can provide the best coverage of our teams online and in print and are investing in re-platforming our websites and apps in order to significantly improve our reader’s user experience,” they said.
JPI Media, formerly Johnston Press, weekly titles Fleetwood Weekly News, Garstang Courier and Longridge News would have their Wednesday midnight deadlines cut shorter, Hold The Front Page has reported.
The Courier and Longridge News will go to print at 5pm on Tuesday while Fleetwood Weekly News prints at 4.30pm the same day.
Print deadline changes in the North East and North West come a month after JPI Media said it would pilot a “digital first” restructure of newsrooms that would see reporters focus on writing online content instead of print production.
The cost-cutting measure also follows the announcement of cuts to staff and office space across JPI Media titles, which came under the ownership of Johnston Press bondholders last year under a pre-pack administration deal.