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June 20, 2016updated 21 Jun 2016 9:39am

New ‘national’ daily for the north of England 24 launches: ‘We in the UK love our newspapers’, says editorial director

By Dominic Ponsford

A new daily newspaper covering national news aimed at readers in northern England and south-west Scotland went on sale this morning.

The paper, called 24, has gone on sale priced at 40p and is published by CN Group.

It targets a part of the world not currently reached by free daily Metro from Monday to Friday.

24 is distributed across an area from Preston in the south to Lockerbie, in Scotland, in the north; from Hexham in the east to Workington in the west. The total population of the area it covers is 1.2m adults.

It claims to be targeting disenfranchised readers of national newspapers looking for a less expensive alternative to London-based titles.

It provide a politically-neutral digest of national stories, mainly drawn from Press Association. It will also carry regionally-focused features and columns.

Today’s front page features a story on how children are drawn into football hooliganism.

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A story about Wayne Rooney’s support for England manager Roy Hodgson, headlined “The Roy’s Done Good”, is on the back page.

The first edition also includes a column from features writer Roger Lytollis about the Stone Roses.

Described as the North’s National, the 40-page tabloid will be published from Monday to Friday and distributed from Preston in the south to Lockerbie in the north, and from Hexham in the east to Workington in the west, an area with a population of 1.15 million adults.

The new launch follows the closure of The New Day in May some two months after launch. That title priced was 50p and was also politically neutral and appeared to me aimed mainly at female readers.

The New Day folded after attracting national sales of around 40,000 per day.

Whereas The New Day had 25 staff journalists, 24 has just a handful – relying instead mainly on content from Press Association.

Trinity confirms closure of The New Day as it reveals overall print advertising down 19 per cent

Helliwell said: “This week is a huge week in terms of news in the aftermath of the murder of Jo Cox, with the European vote on Thursday and everything that’s going on at the Euros with the football as well.

“Clearly, all that will be part of our mix, but alongside that we will be making sure that the very best of what happens in this part of the world will also be covered, so there’s more stories of relevance to people in this area.”

News would be written “from a Northern perspective, rather than a South-East perspective” and sports coverage would focus on “the Manchester Uniteds and the Liverpools rather than the Chelseas and the Arsenals”, he said.

“There’s so much that happens in the UK that only a fraction of it gets into our newspapers and it can be very South-dominated,” said Helliwell.

He rejected the idea that the swift demise of New Day was a poor omen for a newspaper launch, saying: “We in the UK love our newspapers, we still buy them by the million, so there is plenty of life still left in that market and what we think is that we offer something slightly different. Our model is very different to New Day’s.”

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