There was a window, a chance to save the Post, but it closed a few years ago. After the digital ship sailed, and post hemorrhaging some of the best writers. But, as ever, it’s all about timing, and for the Post – its days were numbered.

A weekly newspaper in a frenetic world? It was never going to happen. Sundays thrive because of their supplements, their tittle tattle and their long-form investigations. Local weeklies? They’re for car boot announcements and bob-a-job weeks.

To counter the breathless scaremongering and gangland fetishism of the Echo, Liverpool needed slow news. It needed context. It needed reflection. The smarter move would have been to take the Post into a perfect bound monthly edition, similar to New York magazine, or any of the successful US city titles that offer the right degree of differentiation from the daily press. Big, meaty features deserving of a city with newly formed muscle. Photo spreads, comment and analysis.

In its weekly iteration, The Post tried valiantly to ape the newspaper-as-magazine format (as the Independent has, convincingly, carried out, and, in the local press, the Bristol Post), and it scored many palpable hits.

But a weekly? On an indeterminate weekday? It was never going to work. We’re a small city. The paper was too slow for news, and too fast for long-form investigation and considered exploration. But, like Trinity itself, it was stuck, awkwardly, between the past and the future.

The city will lose decent arts coverage (one hopes Laura Davis will be allowed to shake up the Echo’s curation of the city’s culture) and it remains to be seen how the Post’s business coverage will colour the Echo’s city pages. What’s encouraging is the news that no journalists will lose their jobs.

But the paper, despite its heritage, was still confused and unsure of its place in the new world – finding space for Carolyn Hughes’ godawful PR puff pages showed that Mark Thomas never really understood how to grab the demographic so cruelly short-changed by the Echo, and was sucked, moth to the flame, into the city’s seamy underbelly of charity galas and awards. The success of publications like our own, Bido, Liverpool Confidential etc, showed that the middle ground was his to lose, and that there was a growing space, in Liverpool, for the tribe that didn’t sexy network.

We wrote to Thomas, suggesting a different way to engage with those in the city disenfranchised with The Echo. His reply was aloof and dismissive: “As a newspaper that has been publishing in Liverpool for 156 years… (we know what we’re doing)…”

We can all get misty eyed about its demise, and a city with only The Echo in its corner is a sorrier place indeed. But we don’t believe the official line that the Liverpool City Region is too small to support a title like The Post. That, again, is cynical and short sighted. Liverpool could, and should, have an intelligent, curious and relevant publication fighting its corner. Now, more than ever before, we have the stories, and we have the audience.

That it doesn’t says more about the cynical manoeuvres of Canary Wharf: when the chips (or should that be Burger and Ships) are down, it’s all hands on the mothership. This is a move that’s every bit about saving the ad revenue of ambulance chasing solicitors and tanning salons, and not about playing the long game, and forging out a new way for the city to engage with itself. To fight for the higher ground. Because that’s where we belong. If SevenStreets can carve out a 50,000 strong audience, surely the combined might of Trinity could do the same. But the appetite, and investment, was never there.

In announcing the closure, Trinity Mirror North West Managing Director, Steve Anderson Dixon said: “The Post is a wonderful and much-loved old lady who has simply come to the end of her natural life.”

That, to us, just about sums up how wrong-footed, patronising and lacklustre Trinity’s stewardship of the paper has been. The Post, when it was fired-up, was as vital, thrilling and surprising as any of the young pretenders to its throne. It is the tenure of those in charge, not the writers at The Post, that – surely – has come to the end of its useful life.

To those who visit our city, post Post, we feel duty bound to explain to you: We are not The Echo.

To the staff of the Post, we wish you well, and thank you for your great work.

15 Responses to “So, farewell then, The Post”

  1. goldenblls

    I’d like to say I’m surprised but I’m not.

    I really can’t see the Liverpool ECHO lasting that long either

    I’m sick to death of the Echo glorifying the criminal underworld of our great city. Referring to criminals spouses as ‘Gangsters Moll’s. Is this the post CoC face that we’re presenting?

    And why can’t they sort that mess of a website out? You go the main page and are presented with each news items three times!! They need to sort it out otherwise people will stop visiting the website too.

    Anyway, the Post has missed it’s chance, blame the owners and sort The ECHO out too!

    A disgrace!

  2. Paul McCombs

    Totally agree with everything you say; Trinity Mirror had a marvellous opportunity to gain new readers but they chose not to with no appetite to even continue. They are hiding behind the excuse of the region being too small to support it.

    SevenStreets, Bido; and Liverpool Confidential are the way forward but they have to command a wider financial and readership support; but how will this be done? The Almanac would surely be successful if it had the opportunity to be more mainstream; in its short life to date it has provided a wide breadth of subjects and valuable info.

    The latest issue of The Almanac almost foretells this situation by asking the readership for support to continue; however this appeal now has to be seen on a greater scale. I believe you have that appetite and the people of this region must be given the opportunity to see what does exist and what can be improved.

    Liverpool media for Liverpool people, now there’s a thought.

  3. So sad that Trinity have killed the Post. I agree with other people that the Echo website is awful, you cannot read anything on it due to all the adverts and pop ups getting in the way. That poor website will surely kill the Echo too.

  4. Just replying to Littoral – don’t understand you, mate. “It’s northern suburbs those at the other end (say top end of Formby to Eastham – and so leaving an obvious metro area town like Ellemere Port out) is over 20 miles. Ditto an east-west transect of, I dunno, Caldy to Rainhill (and again I’m considering only Liverpool suburbs not the wider metropolitan area) at 23 miles! That’s not a small city but most standard being, what 1.2-1.3 million or so in a metro of between 2 and 2.5 millions?
    What are you on about? And where is Ellemere Port? Are you from the NW? I somehow doubt it…

  5. Sorry I wasn’t clear apparently. And yes Ellemere is a typo. It’s called ‘Hellsmear’.

    Liverpool is rather big. I was proving four of its suburban extremities (or near enough).

    Caldy to Rainhill – 23 miles.
    Freshfield station to Eastham village 21 miles.

    BIG! Dave thinks its small but I have no idea why. I responded because he’s said such thing on the past and its a nonsense you increasingly hear nowadays but I certainly don’t remember years ago growing up locally.

    This type of thing can be used an excuse for business and government to underserve and undermine the economic health of the city however. It IS important.

    If Liverpool’s a small city (instead of in reality the 3rd or 4th biggest in England) well it doesn’t need high speed trains. Anyone who wants a job can commute to Manchester as its labour pool must be too small for anyone to bring inward investment and employment into the area. Topically, it isn’t the heart of a economic region extending from somewhere in Wales down into iand eastward to Wigan or so. It is a ‘small city’ apparently and so it doesn’t need a region-wide newspaper. Etc., etc.

    And no I’m not from the NW. Is that Burnley or somewhere? How horrid. I am from a suburban part of Liverpool. No purple bin though :-(.

  6. Stephen Hurrell

    It’s probably a bit of a taboo subject on here but Ian Doyle deserves a mention for his sports coverage, which was always insightful and considered.

    It’s so easy to resort to the lowest common denominator to bring in traffic. Just look at the Echo. From experience I know an unfounded transfer rumour, misleading headline or article supporting an unpopular figure (Bill Kenwright, Suarez etc) will instantly bring traffic. The Echo is now awash with nonsense ‘blogs’ and ridiculously partizan articles seemingly written by drunken fans stumbling out of the stadiums. In fact, the Echo home page is now 50% court reports and 50% football crap.

    At least Ian Doyle looked at wider issues, used statistics and historical sources, found unique insights into common threads and delivered them consistently. Sports reporting is in a race to the bottom and the last sensible place to read about local football has now gone.

  7. Sam Spade

    Dear me. You might wait until the corpse has stopped twitching before dancing on its grave.

    But there’s nothing like kicking a man when he’s down is there? The perfect time to stick the boot in.

    Hey-ho. What goes around comes around.

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls, “publications like our own, Bido, Liverpool Confidential etc” – it tolls for thee.

  8. Did you even read the piece? They’re saying it’s a loss that it’s gone, because they could have done SO much more with it than they did. I didn’t read it as a “hooray! it’s dead!’ blog post at all: the potential with the Post was huge – they didn’t fulfil it – and now it’s simply up to the independent media to fill that gap (and anyone can see a large part of that will probably be SevenStreets, Bido and the like).

  9. The Echo website is an amateur operation. It wouldn’t surprise me if work experience posted the news stories on the home page (no disrespect to workies but they’re unlikely to be trained journalists). Frequent typos, repetition of the same news story, links that often take you to somewhere they shouldn’t… Unfortunately I have to go there because there is nowhere else I can get Liverpool news as I live in London. Sad about the Post – always tried to buy it when I was at home.

  10. david_lloyd

    “The Post, when it was fired-up, was as vital, thrilling and surprising as any of the young pretenders to its throne. It is the tenure of those in charge, not the writers at The Post, that – surely – has come to the end of its useful life.”

  11. As a frequent visitor to Liverpool, I would always track down a copy of the Post and it was always a great read. I get the impression the owners simply couldn’t be bothered with it any more and I am very sad that the paper is no more.

    I know Liverpool is not the Echo and the Echo is not Liverpool. But it is a sorry state of affairs when that title is probably the main news outlet for the rest of the world.

    As for the suggestion of a monthly publication, if there is someone out there wanting to do it to the standard of the Post, then my subscription fee is ready and waiting.

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