Freelances ditched in Weekender makeover

Around a dozen long-term contributors to the Racing Post Weekender have been axed as the weekly gets a new editor and a revamp.

Some freelances have been writing for the title for up to 15 years, when it was originally called the Sporting Life Weekender. They will disappear from its pages in the first week in June when Weekender appears in a new design and with new content.

Racing Post editor Chris Smith said the paper had been losing circulation for some time and if it continued to do so "pretty soon it would have no future at all. Basically, it needed tearing up and starting again."

Weekender is the first of four Trinity Mirror racing titles to get a makeover. The position in the market of the three Raceform titles acquired by the company will be assessed and the papers redesigned in the next few months.

Smith is hoping that the new-look Weekender will attract Racing Post readers. Its new editor is John Hopkins, promoted from deputy features editor of the Post. He replaces Peter Thomas who moves across to the Post as a feature writer and columnist.

New Weekender content will include columns by high-profile Post experts and the use of the daily paper’s database to give Weekender readers improved information.

Among the new columnists will be Tom Segal, who writes as Pricewise for the Post, Nick Fox, one of the daily’s tipsters and previously Templegate of The Sun, and star writer Paul Haigh.

Some columns from the Post will also be carried in Weekender, such as the Ratings Review and Mark Your Card. The redesign is the work of group design editor Robin Gibson and graphics designer Jon Winter, under the direction of Smith.

"We hope it will reinvigorate Weekender," said Smith.


By Jean Morgan

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