The first issue of The New Day, the bubbly national paper from Trinity Mirror, seemed to be well received and rightly got lots of attention across the media world.
Its Facebook page has had 12.5k likes and a few of the new 'wow' emojis. There were the less enthusiastic posts too, eg "New Day is a bit rubbish", "New Day is like a Metro Lite" and "New Day is more like Take a Break". Overall, though, the sentiment at launch was positive.
But the 2m free copies was the easy part… now it has to start selling copies and find a way of delivering its 200,000 paid circulation guarantee.
The second issue continues the light, friendly tone and the same mixture of snippets of the day’s news, campaigning features, sport and entertainment. The top story on the abuse of paramedics is a strong lead and the issue also has the shocking story of the Alton Towers crash victim who lost a leg, followed by the racism in parliament issues raised by Dawn Butler and with a US election review in the back half. So there is coverage of serious issues here, however it all feels more like a cross between Mirror, Metro and a women’s weekly magazine.
The campaigning features feel very much like the Mirror , while the majority of the editorial could be from Closer or Now magazines…. the Oscars, Health, Life Out Loud, People News, Storiesinaction (yellow is the colour for St David's Day apparently), A Bride who will inspire us sections all have strong female appeal.
Male-orientated content is lacking substance with a very light sports digest in the centre of the paper and sport opinioneers in the back. It feels like they could be joined up to make a more substantial sport section. The New Day Facebook page asks readers to send their stories on babies, weddings or anniversaries so the reader content generation is obviously focused on females too, but it may need to look at the weight if the female:male balance is meant to be 60:40 .
It is ad light, which should be a good thing offering readers more content and advertisers more stand out. Only 2 pages, 2 half pages and 4 x25x4 ads per issue but it felt slightly under dressed as a result. We are conditioned to seeing much higher ad content and, especially at launch, some more big name advertisers showing support would help give it gravitas.
In summary the paper looks to be targeting a more mass market female audience than the disgruntled lapsed reader of mid-market papers that was identified pre-launch. It remains to be seen if they will part with 25p – 50p to make The New Day a success.
Ian Richmond is senior account director - display at MEC