A rolling news website launched last year by the former editor of a daily newspaper that went weekly has unveiled a new look.
Marc Astley set up The Exeter Daily last October on the patch of his old paper, the Express & Echo, which switched to weekly publication in the autumn of 2011.
Now the site has been given a new look ahead of a roll-out of the ‘Daily’ franchise to Plymouth next month.
Marc is already eyeing up other opportunities for expansion and says his ultimate goal is for a network of sites across the whole of the UK.
The Exeter site was originally set up with the aim of creating what Marc called an “army of citizen journalists” who would supply much of the content.
Five months on, he says the model has “captured the imagination of a new generation of news consumer.”
Said Marc: “Everything we are doing now is six to 12 months ahead of schedule. Every day seems to bring more good news and further opportunities.
“The ultimate goal is for a UK-wide network of sites that can work together to deliver a unique news and information service as well as a cost-effective platform for advertisers, both local and national.”
Marc has sold the franchise for The Plymouth Daily to one of the South West’s most successful businessmen, Rex Rosario, owner of Graphic plc.
The company, which employers 170 people in Crediton, Devon and a further 400 in China, produces high technology printed circuit boards for, among others, the aerospace industry.
Said Rex: “It’s obvious to me that the migration from print to digital will continue at a rate of knots and what Marc and the team have here is a business that is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this monumental shift.
“I am extremely excited about this project and I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping it grow.”
Marc left the Express & Echo at the end of 2011 three months after its then owners Northcliffe Media – now Local World – took it weekly.
Since its launch, The Exeter Daily has attracted almost 42,500 visitors and recorded 200,000 page impressions.