25 October 2014

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New independent weekly to be launched for county

A new independent weekly paper will launch next month which aims to fill a “gap in the market” for news and sport from across its patch.

The Pembrokeshire Herald will hit the newsstands for the first time on 5 July with a print run of 20,000 copies.

The paid-for weekly will include a dedicated Welsh language section and recruitment for three journalist positions is now underway.

It will compete for readers and advertisers with other newspapers in Pembrokeshire, which include Newsquest’s Western Telegraph and Milford and West Wales Mercury, along with the Tindle-owned Pembroke Observer, Tenby Observer and County Echo.

Editor Bruce Sinclair said a dummy edition had been published in May to gauge reaction from potential readers and advertisers, and said the response had been “very positive.”

The front page of the new Pembrokeshire Herald's dummy edition, released in May

“We felt there was a real gap in the market for an independently-run county newspaper, covering issues which really matter to people,” he said.

“We’ll be doing everything from investigations to court cases, to cats stuck in trees and WI meetings. The whole range of local news.

“In addition, we will be having a Welsh language section. It will be quite small at first but it is something we want to grow in future. I think it is really important to reflect that to a lot of the people in Pembrokeshire, particularly in the north which is less Anglicised, the Welsh language is a big part of their life.”

He said the plan currently was for the paper to be around 40 pages, covering the whole county with a single edition. It will cost 50p.

It will be published by Milford Haven-based Megagroup Pembrokeshire Ltd, who also own Pembrokeshire’s Best magazine. Bruce said some staff such as designers would be shared with the new title.

The website is still under construction, but teaser Twitter and Facebook accounts have been set up, beginning to share some of the news around the county already.

The Facebook page promises to reflect the positives of life in the county, as well as carrying out hard-hitting investigations.

It adds: “Launching a brand new newspaper title could be seen as a brave venture in this uncertain economic climate, but we at the Herald see a growing need for a county-wide voice for you, the readers.

“While it is early days for this fledgling new title, we hope it will grow and grow; becoming the standard reference for all that is great and good about this wonderful part of Britain.”

11 Comments

  1. Spencer Feeney

    Brave? Perhaps foolhardy. With five papers in the county, how much of a gap is there in the Pembrokeshire market?

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  2. Forpetessake

    Do you think if they had tried harder they could have made it look even more boring?

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  3. nige

    pic of a road – dense text non-design – what’s not to like?

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  4. Sub Mariner, North

    That picture is taking up valuable text space

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  5. Steve Dyson

    The very best of luck to this new paper.

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  6. Scoop

    Who on earth is sinking money into this? Beggars belief

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  7. Pembrokeshire Herald

    Brave?
    Foolhardy?
    Maybe Spencer

    For those who don’t know, here’s the status quo in Pembrokeshire media.
    Tindle, whose ethos is the parish pump news reporting, owns four of the other titles in the county.
    In the south, the Tenby Observer covers the delightful seaside town which it is named after. It also has sister publications the nearby Narberth & Whitland Observer and the newly-created Pembroke and Pembroke Dock Observer.
    These two publications are effectively editions of the Tenby Observer with a few change pages, and are run by mostly the same staff; hardly different papers are they?
    The County Echo in the north of the county covers Fishguard and St David’s. Until relatively recently it had no editorial staff actually in the county and was produced by another Tindle paper in Aberystwyth.
    The Herald would like to point out it has absolute respect for the Tindle approach to news but to claim town papers with a few change pages are in direct conflict with a new county paper just doesn’t add up.
    So that’s down to two-ish papers.
    The Milford Mercury was once a proud independent publication which did a great service to its loyal readers in the haven area of the county. It has been owned by same group as the Western Telegraph since 2000 and many feel it has been allowed to wither on the vine. It’s mostly put together by the same staff producing the Telegraph in any case.
    That leaves the Western Telegraph.
    The Telegraph has been the sole county-wide paper for many, many years and we at the Herald feel there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition.
    Possibly the county can’t support two rival publications of this nature but that is a matter the readers of Pembrokeshire will decide.
    To sum this situation up; there’s one county wide paper at the moment and a small collection of hyper local town publications in varied states of health.
    In case this sounds like a case of animosity to rival publications, the new editor at the Herald has previously worked at the Milford Mercury and the County Echo, as well as other Tindle papers, including the Cambrian News in Aberystwyth, which produces the Echo.
    Bruce Sinclair, editor, Pembrokeshire Herald.

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  8. Twm Owen, Brecon

    Good luck to Bruce.
    He is a former colleague (and boss) at The Brecon & Radnor Express and I know that he won’t underestimate the challenge and that he also knows that it’s never been easy in newspapers.
    Nice to see people still have faith in print and neither is The Herald the first new newspaper to launch in Wales this year, though the others have come from hyper local websites.

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  9. Spencer Feeney

    I hope it all works out well for you and your staff, Bruce. Best of luck.

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  10. Hayley Wood, Pennar

    Well if it’s like the fantastic read you get in Pembrokeshire Best, I will be certainly buying it!

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  11. Tyler Davies, Pembs

    Comments from the editor about rival local papers in a small area such as Pembrokeshire, describing them as “allowed to wither on the vine” and a “small collection of hyper local town publications in varied states of health” will not endear himself or his team to the reporters working at other papers when they cross paths.
    Hope Mr. Sinclair’s comments are rubbed back in his face.

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