- Western Daily Press
type = Daily
political = not stated
headquarters = Temple Way, Bristol
editor =Andy Wright
website = [http://www.westpress.co.uk/ westpress.co.uk]
The "Western Daily Press" is a regional newspaper covering parts of
South West England, mainly Gloucestershire, Wiltshireand Somersetas well as the metropolitanareas of Bath and North East Somersetand the Bristol area. It is published Monday to Saturday in Bristol, UK. The majority of its readers are in ruralareas, small towns and villages throughout the region and the paper's coverage of rural, agriculturaland countrysideissues is particularly strong. It also has a good record in picking up quirky and bizarre stories which would otherwise not be publicised. Politically it tends to be conservative although its coverage of the UK ban on fox huntingwas neutral, recognising that even in rural areas people are very divided on the issue.
It was founded by Scottish businessman Peter Stewart Macliver and Newcastle
journalistWalter Reid and first published on June 1, 1858. Macliver went on to also found the Bristol Evening Postand the Bristol Observer.
The Western Daily was bought by Bristol United Press (BUP), the same company which publishes the
Bristol Evening Post, in 1959and since 1974has been based at the company's building in Temple Way. BUP was bought in 1999by the Daily Mail and General Trust, the media conglomeratewhich also publishes mass-circulation UK tabloidthe Daily Mailand is now part of the its Northcliffe Group of regional newspapers.
As with most UK titles, the Western Daily Press has been fighting declining
newspaper circulationfigures in recent years and now sells fewer than 41,000 copies per day. This is a particular problem for the Western Daily Press since its circulation area is very wide and costs of distributing papers and maintaining local journalists are disproportionately high.
2005a number of staff were laid off at BUP titles and management have been trying to achieve economies through staff cuts sharing of resources between the different papers. This prompted some Western Daily Press journalists to attempt to auction themselves on eBayas a joke. The National Union of Journalistshas been highly critical of these cuts and is particularly active in Bristol; the union says that despite declining circulation the newspapers remain extremely profitable, partly due to advertisingrevenue, and that the economies are being driven by the unrealistic expectations of shareholders.
The current editor is Andy Wright.
* [http://www.westpress.co.uk Official website]
* [http://www.abc.org.uk/cgi-bin/gen5?runprog=nav/abcdata&c=&o=&menuid=abcdata|newspdata|regpaidnews&snav=&type=ind&ref=91973|04072005|01012006 Circulation statistics] from the UK Audit Bureau of Circulation.
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