Newspaper publisher Sir Ray Tindle today urged his staff to launch more new titles in order to replace lost revenues.
In a speech to an annual gathering of senior managers, the veteran entrepreneur admitted that revenues at some of his newspaper centres were down by as much as £4m from £7m.
But citing the recent example of the Chingford Times, he insisted that the company’s strategy of launching its way out of the recession was the right one.
In addition to the North London title, Sir Ray’s Tindle Newspapers group has just launched another paid-for hyperlocal title in West Wales, the Pembroke Observer,
Said Sir Ray: “If your turnover has dropped, seek a new source of revenue, perhaps a new area.
“Basildon’s revenue fell and the firm went into a loss. They launched the paid-for Chingford Times and have made up part of that loss.
“If you have lost revenue, is there somewhere you can start a new paper in order to achieve new revenue to replace it?
“Make it a good paper and you’ll find people to pay for it. Forget going free.”
In his speech Sir Ray revealed that the recession has hit his titles worst of all in London but was “spreading out” from the capital.
However he continued to insist that brighter times for the industry lay ahead.
“Do be prepared for a possible poor time ahead before the downturn is reversed and revenue flows once again,” he said.
“I am quite sure the local weekly press has a long and viable life ahead of it. The whole local and regional press will come through this downturn and thrive again.”