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New jobs created as independent group launches sister titles

An independent newspaper group which which launched its first print title two years ago is aiming to build on its success by launching two sister titles.

The Pembrokeshire Herald, which hit the streets in the summer of 2013, is to launch two new titles in neighbouring Carmarthenshire, currently dominated by major publishing group Local World.

The inaugural editions of the Carmarthenshire Herald and Llanelli Herald will appear on Friday, 6 March, both priced 50p.

They will go up against established LW weeklies the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star and will include two pages of news in Welsh.

Camarthenshire Herald

The launch of the two new titles will create ten new jobs based at MegaGroup’s headquarters in Milford Haven, and later, two further posts in Llanelli.

Initial print runs will be 14,000 copies for the Carmarthenshire Herald and 10,000 copies for the Llanelli Herald, with distribution being carried out by Menzies.

The Carmarthenshire Herald will be stocked at 278 shops throughout the whole of Carmarthenshire, while the Llanelli Herald will be stocked at 137 outlets, mainly in Llanelli, Burry Port and surrounding areas.

MegaGroup has applied for £65,000 funding from the Wales Economic Growth Fund to help fund the infrastructure required for the project, including setting up a satellite office in Llanelli.

Managing editor Thomas Sinclair said: “Launching two brand new independent newspaper titles 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 the people of Carmarthenshire.

“We will be launching these papers along the same principles which have made The Pembrokeshire Herald successful further west.

“We’re going to be an independent voice. Just like in Pembrokeshire, we’re not going to be relying on revenue from local authorities or any government sources.

“It’s again a return to good old fashioned journalism.”

Advertising sales director Tim Evans added: “This new venture gives a fantastic opportunity for our advertisers to have a new platform to promote their businesses across West Wales.

“We have already fully sold all the advertising spaces for the first editions, and are positive that the new papers will be a success.”

The Herald got off to an eye-catching start in July 2013 when an early edition of the paper fell victim to an apparent act of sabotage.

A front page advertisement for a car hire company was amended to include a sex act in the list of services it provided.

However the edition in question sold out and Thomas later said the incident provided the new start-up with a welcome publicity boost.

He told HTFP at the time: “It has all turned out OK in the end. Everyone knows about the Pembrokeshire Herald now.”

10 comments

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  • February 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm
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    Good luck to them – the way Local World’s going I doubt they’ll struggle to outscoop the competition most weeks. In my experience, independent ownership seems to be the way forward for the industry as such operators don’t have a load of shareholders clamouring for their pound of flesh.

    That said, I can’t resist pointing out that MegaGroup should be the name of an evil corporation in some kind of cheesy dystopian sci-fi B-movie…

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  • February 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm
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    Must be a lot of local papers owned by big firms that wish they could be independent again. Good luck to this venture.

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  • February 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm
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    Well done and good luck, it’ll be tough but nothing worthwhile is ever easy

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  • February 24, 2015 at 6:10 pm
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    For the sake of all the journos treated like rubbish by the big groups and for all the public who deserve a good read I hope this venture succeeds.

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  • February 24, 2015 at 6:11 pm
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    I forgot to add:
    “Down with monopolies…they have no place in publishing!”
    Thank you.

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  • February 25, 2015 at 9:41 am
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    Rarely do we see the words ”New jobs” on this web site – good luck to all concerned !

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  • February 25, 2015 at 10:43 am
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    This is, of course, the group that effectively forced Pembrokshire Herald editor Bruce Sinclair out of a job. The publisher is quoted in HTFB as saying said he had overruled Bruce’s decision to pull the column because it fell “outside the remit of the editor”.

    So there we are: MegaGroup might be new to the game, but their treatment of editors certainly is up to speed – another one for the warehouse.

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  • February 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm
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    Very best of luck to them. I rue the day my once-proud individual weekly got swallowed up by JP’s greed and Kremlin-like control. Now it looks like every other JP paper….tatty and under-written

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