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April 6, 2018

Trinity Mirror weekly the Walsall Advertiser to close amid cutbacks three months after merger with neighbouring title

By Arun Kakar

Trinity Mirror has confirmed that the Walsall Advertiser and Great Barr Observer are to cease publication.

The West Midlands weeklies merged in January under a single print product with localised front pages. The paper printed its final edition last week.

Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes tweeted that he was “very sad” to hear of the closure and thanked the paper for its “service to Walsall people over many decades”.

He added: “We will miss you popping through our letter box every week.”

A Trinity Mirror spokesperson has confirmed that the move comes as part of a restructure announced across its newsrooms last month that put 49 jobs at risk of redundancy.

Trinity Mirror newsrooms in the north east, Humber, south east and Devon and Cornwall regions are being restructured to create separate print and online teams under the move to the “Live” online model.

It followed the creation of Birmingham Live in September to focus solely on digital content, away from the Birmingham Mail newspaper’s editorial team, which the publisher said had increased audience numbers.

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A separate 49 jobs at the publisher were also placed at risk of redundancy in February, following an identical rebranding.

The Walsall Advertiser is now under the Birmingham Live brand.

In the latest roll out last month, Gazette Live will become Teesside Live, Hull Daily Mail becomes Hull Live, Grimsby Telegraph becomes Grimsby Live and Plymouth Herald becomes Plymouth Live.

Sites already given the Live rebrand, which will now see their newsrooms restructured, are Devon Live, Cornwall Live, Lincolnshire Live, Chronicle Live, Essex Live and Kent Live.

Wales Online and Manchester Evening News will continue to retain their respective identities online, with the City sections of Wales Online – Cardiff, Swansea and Newport – falling under the Live banner.

The cuts were branded as “savage” by the National Union of Journalists, with co-ordinator Chris Morley claiming that “members again feel let down by their own leaders”.

Trinity Mirror declined to comment.

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