Newspaper entrepreneur Sir Ray Tindle is to launch seven new hyperlocal titles in South London next week alongside its 147-year-old flagship the South London Press.
The new paid-for weeklies – dubbed the ‘Magnificent Seven’ by Tindle bosses – are being launched in Streatham, Brixton, Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Deptford & New Cross and Forest Hill & Sydenham and will hit the streets on Friday, 8 June.
The publisher has chosen the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee week to launch the titles and is promising “pages and pages” of pictures of people taken street parties across South London.
However asked whether any additional journalists were being taken on as a result of the launch, SLP managing director Peter Edwards, who is overseeing the project, would say only that the matter was being kept under review.
The new titles, which be priced at 50p, will between them cover the same patch as the existing South London Press but with a much more hyperlocal flavour.
The SLP will continue as a standalone title but will only circulate in areas of the patch not covered by the seven new titles.
Sir Ray said: “Those who say the local press is finished are wrong. This group owns many community newspapers around the country which are doing well in both circulation and advertising terms.”
“The South London Press editor, Hannah Walker, and staff have rallied wholeheartedly behind the hyperlocal launches and have been magnificent. Managing director Peter Edwards is leading the operation from Streatham. He is confident of its total success.”
Added Hannah: “These are challenging times for all newspapers and in the fast-changing world of journalism we need to let South Londoners know that we are there for them.
“We are a trustworthy, reliable and solid source of information. Local news is as important as ever and we are determined to rise to the formidable challenge and champion our readers and our newspapers.”
Earlier this year the SLP invited journalists to apply for a voluntary redundancy programme which eventually saw five of its 20-strong editorial team leaving the staff.
They included the deputy editor, the news editor, the chief reporter and two reporters.