Sir Ray Tindle has purchased nine free community newspapers in Dorset and Somerset to add to his expanding portfolio of more than 200 titles.
Sir Ray’s independently owned company has acquired six View From titles from Lyme Media & Events in Lyme Regis and has also taken over the group’s Weekender titles in Crewkerne, Chard and Ilminster.
The View From titles cover the towns of Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester, Bridport, Beaminster and Lyme Regis.
All full-time staff at the two centres in Axminster and Lyme Regis will be retained with no job losses.
Philip Evans, founder of the View From titles, has been appointed managing director, and will continue to run the operation from the Lyme Regis offices together with Tindle’s Axminster-based newspapers in East Devon.
The newspapers will be published by Devon, Dorset and Somerset Series of Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of Tindle Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Pulman’s View From titles in Axminster.
Said Sir Ray Tindle: “We are delighted to add the View From titles to our expanding group of community newspapers. They fit perfectly with our ethos of hyper-local publications and have a strong readership and loyal advertising base upon which we hope to build.”
Jerry Ramsdale, managing director of Lyme Media & Events Ltd, said: “I am glad that I will be connected with the View From in the future as a director of the publishing company. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in local publishing and it makes sense in the current difficult financial climate to bring all the titles in the area under one group.
“I would like to pay tribute to the View From staff for their commitment over the past two years. They are a very talented team. I would also like to thank the advertisers and hope they will continue to support the same continuing team together with Pulman’s staff.”
The titles were saved from closure in January 2010 after being bought by a businessman.
The combined group will have a total of 15 titles in West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset with a combined weekly distribution of 46,000 copies.
Other titles owns by Tindle include Somerset weeklies the Midsomer Norton and Radstock Journal, the Wellington Weekly News and the West Somerset Free Press.