Birmingham welcomed its second new newspaper in the space of 24 hours today as entrepreneur Chrs Bullivant’s Birmingham Press hit the streets.
The new part-free, part paid-for title is going head-to-head with Trinity Mirror’s Birmingham Post Lite which was launched yesterday.
The new paper led with a genuine news scoop in the shape of plans to recreate a Serious Crime Squad in the West Midlands.
Its infamous predecessor, the Regional Crime Squad, was disbanded nearly 20 years ago having been discredited for its role in the conviction of the Birmingham Six.
The paper also contained a 64 page property section, news, features, arts and leisure, business and motoring, plus 16 pages of local sport.
Editor Tony Lennox said: “It’s a great feeling to get the first issue off the ground. I’m very pleased with the effort put in by all those involved. They’ve done a terrific job.”
Mr Bullivant added: “I’ve been involved in 60 launches, and this is the best yet.”
The 128-page paper was printed at North Wales Media’s presses in Queensferry, Wirral.
The new paper has been warmly welcomed by the National Union of Journalists which has been highly critical of Trinity Mirror’s Birmingham operation in recent years.
General secretary Jeremy Dear said: “The launch of the Birmingham Press this week is a vote of confidence in the city as a news centre where the skills of writers, photographers and production journalists can help to provide an added service to readers in a complex modern environment.”
However writing on his personal blog former Post editor Marc Reeves, now running TheBusinessDesk.com’s West Midlands portal, took a different view.
He said the team behind Mr Lennox is made up of “mates, ex-colleagues and enthusiasts who have been kicking their heels recently and are grateful for the measly lineage on offer from the Press…I give it six months.”
oldsub (23/04/2010 11:43:03)
Nasty error on front page pic headline and text… Paul Robinson is not Albion’s goalie… he is actually their left back…
Hmm (23/04/2010 12:20:26)
Birmingham Mail, April 8th – “There is now a force-wide investigative department dealing with serious crime and other central support functions”
Newsub (23/04/2010 12:25:52)
Actually he isn’t even their left back he is Bolton’s! Awful gaffe!
urrgh (23/04/2010 12:26:56)
The design is foul
eddiethehead (23/04/2010 12:30:39)
So Bolton’s left back on the front page as Albion’s keeper. No website that I can find. Good start isn’t it?
missed (23/04/2010 12:34:06)
Re ‘hmm’ comment, looks to me like the Mail MISSED the enormity of this story, which Lennox and co grabbed by the scruffy neck and gave it a great nose, details, Mullin quotes, etc. 1-0 the Press!
Hengist Pod (23/04/2010 12:47:30)
Miaow! Haven’t heard so much back-biting sine all those political spin doctors tried to claim ‘their man’ won last night’s debate. This is a really interesting battle – there’s no doubting that – but I can’t help but feel it will end up being a waste of money for both camps. The Birmingham Press is trying to create an old style Birmingham Post – for which a market just doesn’t exist any more. Chris Bullivant has never made any secret of the fact he really wanted to buy the Post, while Tony Lennox was its acting editor for a time and one can’t help but feel they are both chasing past glories and have perhaps bitten off more than they can chew. It’s hard to see it making any money. Meanwhile Trinity Mirror’s spoiler (The Birmingham Post Lite) will end up costing the company a fortune to produce and when both eventually fold it will no doubt prompt another round of cost-cutting and job losses at Trinity Mirror in the Midlands.
Bully (23/04/2010 13:26:40)
I wonder how many of the ’60 launches’ Mr Bullivant’s been involved in are still going?
MrBrown (23/04/2010 13:43:46)
It looks like a tin pot rural weekly free sheet. Haven’t they got any subs who can do a decent job?
Steve Dyson (23/04/2010 14:07:53)
Fascinating opinions and differences… here and all over the web. Background views and sides out of the way, a full assessment of the content for readers of both The Press and Lite will form Dyson at Large’s extended review blog next Wednesday, April 28.
Hengist Pod (23/04/2010 14:31:22)
Look forward to it Steve. As always I’m sure it will be an interesting read. Will you be doing any X-Factore scoring on their respective merits?
Steve Dyson (23/04/2010 14:35:13)
dunlop_journo (23/04/2010 15:33:26)
It seems Mr Bullivant is confused about what type of paper he’d like…and the areas he covers. Has anyone else noticed that the state-of-the-art Press website has got the photos for Sutton and Birmingham the wrong way around?
Wolfie (23/04/2010 17:53:22)
Streeets? Wheeeeeeeee, finger must have slipped.
Andy (26/04/2010 12:19:03)
Interesting to see the NUJ supporting a new newspaper which operates with no full time staff. With the exception of Tony, the editor, everyone else is freelance, paid by the story, or paid by the subbing shift. Will the NUJ stand up and applaud the big newspaper companies if they did the same? This is further proof that not only is the NUJ incapable of standing up for journalism, senior members are guilty of failing even the most basic of journalistic tests – never taking something at face value. As for Bullivant’s newspaper, it’s ok if put aside the fact the splash story had already appeared in the Mail and the picture story was incorrect. He also turned over page 2 of the paper to write a self-serving rant about the history of midlands newspapers, he fails to mention that his company went bust last year. something for the NUJ to celebrate eh?
Hengist Pod (26/04/2010 12:41:43)
Mr Bullivant’s ‘self-serving rant’ on p2 of his newspaper is interesting for a number of reasons. In it he proceds to slag-off Trinity Mirror’s titles as shadows of their former selves. Interestingly his title that was upposed to set the cat among the pigeons in the leafy metropolitan borough of Solihull (The Solihull Observer) ran a splash last Friday that was actually run as the splash by Trinity Mirror’s Solihull News the week beore. Good to know he practices what he preaches.
missed (26/04/2010 15:49:17)
Andy’s NUJ critique is fair comment, but I wish he and ‘hmm’ wouldn’t keep pretending the Mail had already published the Press’ crime splash. There’s only one thing more embarrassing than missing a story completely, and that’s knowing about a story but deciding to follow the police press office guidance on it and burying it as a fifth single par in a general, bland ‘reorganisation’ story!! (See the link provided by ‘hmm’ and you’ll see what I mean). Come on guys, hands up you missed that one!