What is disappointing, although predictable, has been the doomsayers who took to the comments on Hold The Front Page and the Press Gazette. The opinion by most is it hasn’t a 'cat in hell’s chance'. One described it as 'the most ridiculous proposition I’ve ever seen in newspapers'. Wait a minute. All those journalists who have moaned about groups closing down non-profitable newspapers are now whingeing when a someone gives it a go. Of course it will be a challenge. But those who haven’t seen the business plan, what revenue is needed, what sales are required, what the costs are or how 24 dovetails with CN’s other titles … are still certain it will fail.
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The best argument against it seems to be that, as Trinity Mirror’s NewDay closed after nine weeks and The Independent could no longer sustain a print edition, then nobody should ever launch a newspaper. Really? Are they saying that those regional groups seeing their traditional newspapers heading towards oblivion and struggling to make money out of digital, should just do nothing? Is inertia and avoiding risk at all costs the only way forward? Should they just get out of publishing altogether and invest their money in property or an offshore account?
CN has now added to its portfolio - it owns three daily papers, whereas last week it owned two. It is using its existing resources cleverly and with innovation. What strikes me about the 24 journalists is their confidence, commitment and enthusiasm. Those are commodities sometimes hard to find in newsapers these days. Of course it won’t be easy and editor Mike Haworth knows he has a tough job. But the industry and those shouting from the sidelines should get behind CN’s venture - and will it to succeed. Who knows ... it may even become a model for others.