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April 23, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:12am

DC Thomson to close The Weekly News as sales struggle in digital media era

By Freddy Mayhew

DC Thomson is closing The Weekly News next month after 165 years in print, saying the title has become “less relevant” in the digital media landscape.

The Weekly News printed its first edition in 1855 and continued to publish throughout the Crimean, Boer, and both world wars, reaching a peak of nearly 1.5m sales in the 1960s and 70s.

It later evolved from a traditional weekly newspaper to focus on features, nostalgia and cartoons.

But sales have been in decline for years – it had a paid-for circulation of just over 12,500 copies when it was last audited by ABC in June 2018.

The decision to close it at the end of May, marking its 165th anniversary, was said to have been taken before the coronavirus crisis took hold in the UK.

Editor Billy Higgins said: “I’d like to thank all our readers for their loyalty to the newspaper over the years. Some of our readers have been Weekly News fans since the 1940s, and we are hugely grateful for that.”

The final four issues of The Weekly News will each feature eight pages of archive material telling its story throughout the years, with a bumper special for its final edition, on sale from 27 May.

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Richard Neville, head of newspapers at DC Thomson Media, said: “We took the decision to close The Weekly News with a heavy heart but wanted to ensure the final few issues were a celebration of what was a world beating newspaper at its height.

“The team have kept the standards up throughout its life but it was really suited to a non-internet age and its formula has become less relevant in today’s media landscape.”

Pictures: DC Thomson

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