I’ve attended a few meetings recently in preparation for the International Festival for Business which opens in Liverpool next week. Interestingly, several people have said to me that they are finding business to business communications in Liverpool more difficult since the closure last year of the Daily Post. This does raise the question of whether or not local economies still need a daily business orientated newspaper in this digital age.
Certainly Liverpool is unique among large UK cities in no longer having such a newspaper, but does it matter? Cities like Glasgow, Bristol, Newcastle and Leeds continue to publish daily papers aimed at the regional business community, but circulations are in decline. For example, the Glasgow Herald now sells less than 40,000 copies each day, although it does have a monthly online readership of over 1.5 million.
There is probably an argument for saying that newspapers such as the Newcastle Journal, the Aberdeen Press & Journal and the Leeds based Yorkshire Post give their host cities a certain amount of kudos. But we need to remember that most of these publications are losing money at a rate which I suspect that even a Premiership football club would find worrying.
Recruitment advertising, once a major cash cow for regional business dailies, has now gone online. So too has much of the information and comment which used to make these newspapers indispensible. Liverpool found that the Daily Post was a luxury which it could no longer afford and I suspect that many other cities may soon find themselves forced to come to the same conclusion.