Sentinel Sunday closes despite circulation boost

Publisher Northcliffe Media Group has announced the closure of Stoke’s Sentinel Sunday due to disappointing advertising and circulation income.

The sister title of daily newspaper The Sentinel – with which it shares a newsroom and several staff – Sentinel Sunday close on 30 September.

The winner of two Press Gazette Regional Press Awards, Sunday newspaper of the year for 2001 and 2004, the title had been increasing circulation since it changed to tabloid in July last year and last week posted a 15.8 per cent year-on-year increase to an average of 11,886 a week.

But Northcliffe said that despite an encouraging year-on-year ABC figure, recent month-on-month figures had been ‘disappointing”.

Mike Sassi, editor-in-chief of both The Sentinel and Sentinel Sunday told Press Gazette: ‘With great regret we are announcing that the final edition of The Sentinel will be on the final Sunday of September.

‘The move to tabloid had an effect, but it is the long-term sustainability of the title which we were not able to establish. I would hope that there will be no compulsory staff redundancies.”

Press Gazette understands that Northcliffe does not intend to make any staff redundant and that the Sentinel Sunday’s resources will be redistributed across the daily title and elsewhere in the company.

Paul Dutton, editor of Sentinel Sunday and also assistant editor of The Sentinel, said: ‘A lot of very good people have worked here over the years and I am bitterly disappointed to see it go.’

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