24 July 2014

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Editor admits defeat in plan to launch newspaper

Plans to launch a new thrice-weekly newspaper in a seaside town have been shelved as backers admit the market is ‘just not big enough’.

The Scarborough Voice was due to launch in March, but due to tough economic conditions the project has been scrapped for at least two years.

Instead, editor Steven Thurston wants to transfer the name to the existing Scarborough Advertiser ad mag, and build around its focus on arts and entertainment.

He told HTFP he still hopes to bring out a newspaper in a couple of years’ time, under the Advertiser banner.

Said Steven  “We looked at the market place and thought, in the current economic climate there just isn’t a very big market for yet another newspaper.

“We have been working really hard – we even had mock-ups of what the newspaper would look like. But there have been a few issues here which have been out of our control.

“We had to make the decision that it probably wouldn’t succeed at the moment and so it has been put on hold for now, for a couple of years.

“However, with the magazine, because we already do one, we know that we can make it work.”

The current Scarborough Advertiser is an A5 magazine, which goes out to 15,000 homes every month.

It will be increased to A4 size and rebranded as the Scarborough Voice in time to relaunch in March. The circulation of the free magazine will also be increased to 20,000.

“Our advertisers are more than happy with the change. It will be arts and entertainments oriented as we have seen that market flourish in the town,” added Steve.

“There is no other publication which does what we are going to do. I think it’s going to be very popular.

“Anywhere we don’t deliver to, we will look at newsagents in the area and leave them some copies for people to pick up if they want to.”

The Voice will continue to be an online product, following the website’s launch in July, with a section for contributions from the community.

 

The newspaper had originally been due to launch in September, but it was delayed by six months after a number of people involved in the project dropped out.

The plan to start up a new paper was announced by a group journalists who joined forces following the decision by Johnston Press earlier this year to switch the daily Scarborough Evening News to weekly publication.

Editions would have been published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Others still hope to cash in on the gap left in the market by the Evening News’ frequency change. Plans for another, as-yet-unnamed paper have been unveiled by former SEN sports reporter Pete Spence.

He wants to set up a 40-page, 30,000-distribution free weekly which would be published on a Wednesday – a day before the News.

9 Comments

  1. Anon

    Just face it, local newspapers are dead in the water. It doesn’t matter how many times you flog that horse, it’ll still be dead.

    Report this comment

  2. Mark.

    Anon, you have a poor insight into local news. Quality local papers expecting margins of 20-25% and ‘catch all’ distribution maybe dead in the water. But a targeted, quality weekly publication, owned by people who actually live in the community it serves, with investment in quality journalism and a strong local ad team, will serve readers and advertisers alike for years to come. It’s not the same horse, its a new one that just needs a better rider.

    Report this comment

  3. Mouse that roars, manchester

    Total baloney Anon: hard work, commitment and focus lead to results in community’s yearning for local news.
    Check out our website:www.indnews.co.uk

    Then call me to lighten your life:07802 966 922

    Report this comment

  4. Scoop

    Anon gets my support. Print is dead. And Mouse, it says it all that you post a URL.

    Report this comment

  5. fred

    indnews.co.uk is interesting>>>

    32 pages, about 7 fp equivalent ads, at the rate quoted brings in
    £4-5000 revenue … less printing costs. Circulation a bit hard to discern (one bit of website says 1,000s???)

    But you employ six people??????

    I think there are models out there but a bit iffy about this.

    Report this comment

  6. marcus

    This is more like it
    http://issuu.com/keynshamvoice/docs/november2012

    Report this comment

  7. Mark.

    The Cleethorpes Chronicle has been going for nearly five years. A weekly newspaper, owned by two locals, employing eight people (full time equivalent), producing 40 pages of quality news and affordable advertising every week. It isn’t banking millions but it runs profitably, even without putting its news online. Seems that enough people still like to sit down once a week and read a well edited local newspaper after all.

    Report this comment

  8. Tsk

    Local newspapers are not dead. The future is not glowing bright but there are thousands of successful local newspapers currently published in the UK. Margins won’t be what they are but they remain profitable and far from dead.

    Scoop’s dimissal of Mouse’s argument because he supports it with a URL is laughable. Next up – Google to stop publishing content generated by newspapers, BBC’s Newsnight to immediately abandon the glimpse of tomorrow’s front pages and Sky News to abandon their daily newspaper reviews?

    Report this comment

  9. Merganser

    I bought a copy of the Cleethorpes Chronicle on a trip to the Lincolnshire seaside.

    There’s nothing flash and it doesn’t flaunt itself. It’s just a really solid paid-for publication. Most impressed. Not surprised that it’s succeeding.

    Proves there is a market – but you have to get the product right first time. Well begun and the job’s half done . .

    Report this comment



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