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May 5, 2016, 11:21 a.m.
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LINK: www.nytimes.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   May 5, 2016

On February 29, U.K. newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror launched The New Day, an inexpensive (50p/USD $0.70) print-only tabloid published on weekdays and aimed at women. The New Day received attention for being the first standalone national daily newspaper to launch in the U.K. for over 30 years.

“Over a million people have stopped buying a newspaper in the past two years, but we believe a large number of them can be tempted back with the right product,” Trinity Mirror CEO Simon Fox said at the time. “Revitalizing print is a core part of our strategy in parallel with digital transformation, and there doesn’t have to be a choice between the two. Newspapers can live in the digital age if they have been designed to offer something different.”

It turns out, however, that The New Day wasn’t very tempting to people who don’t read newspapers. After publishing for just a little more than two months, The New Day is shutting down this Friday. The goal had been to sell more than 200,000 copies a day; it’s selling closer to 30,000, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Discussing the closure should be interesting for Trinity Mirror execs, who will face investors at their annual meeting Thursday.

“This confirms that it is a challenging time for print,” a Trinity Mirror spokeswoman told The New York Times. (You know, just in case you were wondering.) “It proved too big of an ask to get a critical mass of people to change their behavior frequently enough to make it viable.”

It’s easy to make fun of The New Day, and media Twitter has obliged, just as it did when, earlier this week, Editor & Publisher published an article under the hopeful headline “As Digital Fatigue Sets In, Readers are Waking Up to Newspapers.” (“Readers will soon want to come back to print,” the article promised.)

Trinity Mirror isn’t alone, though, in believing that print can be revitalized. The Wall Street Journal recently named its first-ever “print editor,” Bob Rose, who will “run a newly created team that edits, produces and assembles our print papers around the world, with a mandate to keep the print paper, which remains central to the Journal’s future, strong and vibrant even as we deepen our commitment to digital news.”

Photo by Chris Devers used under a Creative Commons license.

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