View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
February 11, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:29am

UK local newspaper closures: Net loss of 245 titles since 2005, new Press Gazette research

By Freddy Mayhew

Some 43 UK local news titles closed in 2018, but  29 were launched, leaving a net loss of 14 titles, according to new Press Gazette research.

The figure tallies closures against launches reported across Press Gazette and Hold The Front Page, treating editions of newspapers as separate titles.

The research comes as the Cairncross Review into the future of the UK news industry in the digital age delivers its report.

There were some 275 announced editorial job losses in 2018, with Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) accounting for about 140 of them as it undergoes a nationwide restructure, splitting its print and online operations.

More than 50 jobs were created, however, leaving a net loss of about 222. Again this only tallies reported losses and new roles covered by Press Gazette and HTFP, with the actual figure likely to be higher.

From 2005 to the end of 2018 there has been a net loss of 245 UK local news titles, according to Press Gazette research.

Among the title closures last year was Midlands News Association’s Chronicle series of seven newspapers, Newsquest’s merger of three east London titles into one, and the closure of the independent View From series, which produced eight free weekly newspapers, in the West Country.

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

A number of titles, such as the Darlington Despatch and the Shropshire Weekly, closed within a year of being launched.

Also among them was non-profit news magazine the Croydon Citizen, whose editor said Facebook and Google – known collectively as the Duopoly – had “won the battle for eyeballs”.

Local newspaper closures in 2017 and 2016 have previously been compiled by Press Gazette.

Picture: Pixabay

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network