The Birmingham Post has made a return to daily publishing with the launch of a new tablet edition.
The Birmingham Post Business Daily is an essential guide to private sector activity in the West Midlands and is delivered to iPads, tablets and Android devices every morning, Monday to Friday.
The move is a return to a tradition of daily publishing going back more than 150 years and has been welcomed by business and community leaders as a boost for Birmingham.
The tablet edition will publish 30 pages every weekday, full of need-to-know business stories, civic news and residential and commercial properties of the day.
A new team has been recruited for the new publication, which will supplement the Thursday print edition, but offer distinct coverage.
Stacey Barnfield, editor of the Birmingham Post, said: “The launch of the tablet edition takes the historic Birmingham Post brand into a new era to capture a 21st century digital-savvy readership.”
“It will complement our print version perfectly, giving the people of Birmingham the fastest, freshest and most unique business insight every day of the week.”
The Post was a daily publication from 1857 until 2009, so this is in many ways a return.
The Business Daily is aimed at a West Midlands-wide private sector audience.
It features local business news, a look back and ahead to the stock market and a ‘Water Cooler’ business gossip page.
There are also at least five pages of Leads and Deals – a comprehensive daily round-up of useful leads including mergers, acquisitions, planning applications and contract offers.
The new publication has been welcomed by businesspeople and community leaders alike.
Former CBI director general Digby Jones said: “I welcome the return of the Midlands daily business newspaper. I have missed it.
“Everyone in the Birmingham business community misses it, so this is such a welcome return.”
Lord Jones, who is also chairman of Triumph Motorcycles and Grove Industries and a corporate ambassador for JCB and Jaguar Cars, added: “I have always said that we have got to get the business message out to the new generation.
“It is not good for the new generation to think that it is something that just happens, and it is all on a plate for you.
"We have got to get more people talking about business and making stuff, because that is where you create jobs and pay taxes and that is where schools and hospitals come from.
“That is why I think this is such a great idea. When I first heard about it, I thought ‘yippee – one up for Birmingham!’
“It is absolutely in tune with what we all do – I am in Pittsburgh now and I brought my iPad and I am going to sit here and read it.
“I for one will certainly be using it, and I will be happy to pay to use it.”
High profile West Midland MP Tom Watson (Lab West Bromwich East) said: “It is great news to see the Birmingham Post back as a daily. It is an important part of the fabric of business, cultural and political life in our region.”
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis and chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), said: “Greater Birmingham has always enjoyed a strong business press and this has developed in recent years as more and more of the news we read moves online.
“Seeing the Birmingham Post once again having a daily publication – now in digital form – is another superb addition and one that people in the growth sectors in Greater Birmingham will no doubt take to their hearts.”
The Business Daily has been designed to combine the familiarity of print with the usability of an app and will be constantly evolving.
A corporate subscription pricing model has also been introduced with a sliding scale approach dependent on how many subscriptions are taken up by any given company.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It was a sad day when the largest regional city outside of London lost the Birmingham Post as a heavyweight daily newspaper, so I am delighted to welcome the new Business Daily newspaper in iPad edition.
“Just as a good, independent regional newspaper has an integral role to play in the healthy democratic function of a city, so too does it have a role in the economic dynamics of the city.
“And as Birmingham grows and changes its business environment, assuming a strategic position within the wider region; and driving expansion in growth areas such as the professional services, creative and digital, and advanced manufacturing; the city needs a healthy, fit for the 21st century newspaper to report on that and support these ambitions.”
Birmingham Press Club chairman Ed James added: “A return to a daily Birmingham Post is great news for the West Midlands.
“The Post is a vital part of the local business community and the decision to publish a digital daily bulletin has been welcomed by the city.
“For more than a century the Post has been a significant part of everyday life in the West Midlands, and hopefully the launch of the Birmingham Post Business Daily will ensure that continues long into the 21st century.”
A dedicated subscriptions manager will be tasked with ensuring the tablet edition quickly connects with its target audience.
The print edition will continue to be published every Thursday and ‘bundle’ deals – which allow you to bulk purchase print and tablet editions – are currently in development.
MP Adrian Bailey, who is the chairman of the business select committee, said the daily publication was a welcome means of promoting the region’s private sector.
Mr Bailey (Lab West Bromwich West) said: “I am delighted. Anything that supports businesses in Birmingham and the Black Country is something that is much-needed and I think this provides a platform to tell people about the range of skills and achievements that there is in the local business community.
Michael Fabricant (Con Lichfield) said he welcomed the Post’s return to daily publishing.
He said: “It was a sad day when the Birmingham Post decided to become a weekly publication, so this move to a daily is to be heartily welcomed. Birmingham is Britain’s second city and it deserves a serious daily newspaper.”
Mr Fabricant said the content of the Business Daily would be of interest to his constituents in Lichfield, as the GBSLEP links the two Midland cities.
He said: “People in my constituency work daily in Birmingham and commute to Birmingham for their entertainment too.
“Lichfield’s economic success is tied up in the success of Birmingham.”
The Business Daily was first launched on Monday, and received a warm welcome from readers on social networks as an investment in journalism and in the West Midlands.
David Higgerson, digital publishing director at Trinity Mirror (Regionals), said the Business Daily will reinvent business journalism within the regional press.
He added: “It’s all about being useful, and helping to provide local businesses of all sizes with the information they need to thrive.
“We know from our digital audiences that people want content which is useful to them. We will apply this test to all content going into Business Daily in the same way we are increasingly doing with content on our websites across the country.”
Simon Edgley, regional managing director, Trinity Mirror Midlands, said: “The Business Daily is the first of its kind. The trusted heritage of the Birmingham Post, the strength of the fresh, daily content and the commitment to increasing readership among the Birmingham business community will combine to create a dynamic, interactive environment for advertisers to connect directly with their target audiences.”