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Former workmates run rival free sheets

Two former workmates are pitting their journalism expertise against each in a rivalry brewing between two Yorkshire newspapers.

As Neil Speight is preparing to launch the East Riding Gazette, his former colleague Alex Leys is completing a revamp of the Advertiser, a sister paper to the Hull Daily Mail and East Riding Mail.

The free broadsheet Gazette, produced by Holderness Newspapers, will be distributed around the East Riding and west Hull, with paid-for copies available elsewhere.

The Advertiser will be sending copies free into homes in Holderness, the East Riding, Hull and Beverley.

The new Gazette has been launched to fill a gap in the market in an area where advertisers were crying out for competition, according to editor-in-chief Neil.

He said: “There is a fairly congested market place for tabloids so to be different, and to meet what we believe the demand to be, we are launching a 20-page broadsheet with a tabloid insert.

“This has been a massive boom area during the last ten years and there is a new marketplace to the west of Hull and around Beverley.

“The Advertiser has had its second relaunch in the past six months in response to what we are doing. It is bright and breezy and different this week to what has been produced before.

“The readers will have to judge the competition for themselves.”

The Advertiser has undergone such a transformation it is running with the slogan: “The only thing the same is the name.”

Editor Alex and his seven-strong editorial team is producing five different editions that reflect their own distribution areas.

He said: “Ten pages of each edition are unique to each area in terms of local news, and there is a combined ‘Life’ section comprising everything from going out to what’s on TV and the crossword. Three pages of sport are also editionalised.

“It has changed a lot from the original Advertiser in the 1980s. We are now a newspaper that’s quite different to the Hull Daily Mail, but complementary to it.

“Competition in this area makes you look again at the product and see how you can improve – which is a good thing.”

The pair used to work together at the Hull Daily Mail. Both free newspapers are distributed on Thursdays.

Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121,
or e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk

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©NEP 2003

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