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Iliffe re-enters newspaper market with new paid-for weekly

Iliffe Media is making a return to the local newspaper market with a new weekly title headed by a former regional daily editor.

The Cambridge Independent will launch tomorrow, promising a “fresh look at life” in the university city and its environs.

It will be edited by Paul Brackley, who was editor of Trinity Mirror-owned daily the Cambridge News until abruptly leaving the role in April, and will have a cover price of £1.

The moves comes as the News launches a new ‘Celebrate Cambridge’ campaign to promote the city in the wake of the Brexit vote, which 74pc of its residents opposed.

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Tomorrow’s launch marks a return to the local newspaper sector for Iliffe, nearly four years after it sold the Cambridge News, the Burton Mail and a number of weekly titles to Local World.

When LW was subsequently sold to Trinity Mirror, a clause was inserted in the deal which would have seen the News and associated titles sold on to Iliffe for £15.8m.

But in February, TM announced it had decided to keep the News and instead pay a £2m break fee to Iliffe.

Weeks later, Paul left the News without a new job to go to after seven years in the editor’s chair.

Announcing the launch of the new title, Iliffe Media chairman Edward Iliffe admitted that the newspaper industry continued to face challenging trading conditions.

“The structural changes and challenges for the traditional newspaper industry are well documented. But we strongly believe there is a demand for quality journalism, useful information and entertaining content published across multiple formats to local communities,” he said.

The publisher said the new paid-for title, which will have a staff of eight, would be “intelligent, distinctive and relevant” and “will aim to provide the community with a fresh look at life in this fantastic area of the country.”

It will also contain a substantial Homes section, with property-focused editorial and advertising, supplemented on Thursdays by a standalone free property newspaper, Cambridge Homes.

The initial print run for the Independent will be 18-20,000, with 15,000 copies of Cambridge Independent Homes distributed as a free pick-up each Thursday.

Readers who take out an annual subscription to the new title will be offered free membership of the Gourmet Society, worth £69.95, as well as a package of other benefits.

The Iliffe family has owmed, published and printed newspapers since the mid-1800s and has published in Cambridge since 1922.

The newspaper, which will run to 112 pages, will be printed in Cambridge at Iliffe Print, which still prints the News under contract.

9 comments

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  • September 20, 2016 at 10:14 am
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    Excellent to see Iliffe launching new products into Cambridge, local news has been greatly missed, great to see, good luck!

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  • September 20, 2016 at 11:17 am
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    Good luck to all those involved. A reliable source of hard news is much-needed in the city, particularly as the Cambridge News is beginning to morph into a fluffy picture book.

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  • September 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm
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    Good luck – sounds like it should do well and is something Cambridge certainly needs.

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  • September 20, 2016 at 1:56 pm
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    It’s finally great to see and hear of the old guard coming back to Cambridge. Having worked with all of those involved in this new venture, I know it’s being guided by good people who care about the city! I foresee interesting times ahead and think there will be some head scratching at the news!

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  • September 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm
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    Good luck to Adrian Curtis, especially now he’s recovered from that unfortunate injury!

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  • September 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm
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    At last, this is just want Cambridge needs! Local news!

    I had to laugh at the “Celebrate” Cambridge headline on the CEN yesterday – What better way to celebrate Cambridge than to lay off local reporters, sorry content gatherers, and replace them with shared articles about anywhere but Cambridge.

    Then, on day 2 of Celebrate Cambridge we see a front page about sex crime in schools.

    If that’s celebrating, then I’m not interested.

    Look forward to seeing how the new paper performs. It’s a brave move. Good luck to them.

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  • September 20, 2016 at 8:31 pm
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    Let’s hopefully see some serious local news now. Good luck Cambridge Independent. The *cough* Cambridge News has gone seriously downhill over the last year – everything watered down by non-local news. Also the same old companies, connections rearing their heads. How much more of the University, Addenbrooks, Newmarket Racecourse and the lovely Quy Mill and their endeavours do we have to stomach for everything connected with the News. Sycophants through and through. Much more happening in Cambridge than this group of cronies!!

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  • September 21, 2016 at 7:31 am
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    If the rest of the paper is as good as that stunning front page it deserves to do well.

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