War is breaking out within the news trade industry with a number of well known Newsagents walking away, simply unable to cope with continuous late papers that has become a total nightmare this year. Supplies to my Peterborough base warehouse has been diabolical, been LATE 34 times in 2017 from 49 days, plus the three re-runs that have taken place.

Publishers know I’m probably the most experienced person within the news trade, now entering my 59th year, and I know all their excuses, but we are currently in a position that their excuses are NO LONGER ALLOWED. The printed copy must be on the customers breakfast table each day, it’s essential if we are to have any chance of survival.

Re-RUNS cost Newsagents money, more of a case especially we Home News Delivery Newsagents actually lose money by doing a double run, but from now on that situation STOPS, we Newsagents are NO LONGER going to lose money through no fault of our own. PUBLISHERS late is going to cost them money, because more importantly all RE-RUNS are killing the trade DEAD!

My phone rings daily from our HNDA members having the same problems, there are no excuses available to these so called publishers, its a case of getting their acts together on a daily basis. More than ever before do we need our supplies on time, and if its a problem when publishers are printing SIX MILLION copies a day LESS than they were TEN years ago, then some P45s need dishing out!.

It appears all Publishers are doing their utmost to rock the boat, the bold prediction by News UK boss Murdock at the phone hacking trial that there would NOT be newspapers in twenty years seems to trigger the pants of the other publishers in trying to bring the date forward!

Take MAIL NEWSPAPERS, where’s the brains department there? talk about shoot yourself in the foot! the MAIL uses four pages informing the reader to try the digital edition its HALF the price of the PRINTED copy! This is AFTER they had a recent price increase and again cut our terms at the same time. It’s no wonder the senior officials have gone into hiding, refusing to meet us face us!

Yes, we can all blame each other, its too easy to look for excuses. but everyone has their own opinions why the trade is heading in the wrong direction, some will state people are changing their reading habits, others like yours truly will point the finger solely at the publishers for producing papers that no longer offer value for money. Take the local newspapers scene, everyone is a shambles, even the small independent Publishers are killing the trade, example: I use to have 1800 Wisbech Standards not so long ago, it was the town bible for everyone, now I’m lucky to sell 175 copies of the 90p, 48 page newspaper, and I have more customers now than I did in those days!

But back to the main issue, its essential that all Publishers get their acts together NOW, there is NO tomorrow, its NOW or NEVER! Produce value for money newspapers, and even more important than ever before in the history of the news trade industry get those supplies out on time. EVERYDAY!

Brian Webb.

HNDA Ltd.

Wisbech.