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.