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Newspaper founder quits to launch new title after sell-off

A former regional daily sub-editor who launched a monthly newspaper before selling it on to new owners has quit to help launch another new title.

Pete Spence has begun work as editor of the Bridlington Echo after leaving the Scarborough Review, which he founded in 2013.

The former Scarborough News sub-editor sold the free Review to York-based Your Local Link Media in November 2014, but retained its editorship until last week.

He will now head up a team of six design and sales staff at the Echo, which will hit the streets for the first time next month.

A mock-up of what the Echo will look like

A mock-up of what the Echo will look like

The new paper is being launched by print distribution company the BKR Group who approached Pete to become its editor.

The free 32-page tabloid will begin life as a monthly publication with a print run of 10,000 covering Bridlington, Filey and Hunmanby.

As was the case at the Review, Pete will be up against his former employer Johnston Press.

While the Review was a direct competitor to his old paper the News, the Echo will compete with another JP paid-for weekly in the form of the Bridlington Free Press.

Said Pete: “Based on the model of the Scarborough Review we know that free hyper-local newspaper publications can work very well.

“The community feel and ethos behind the Bridlington Echo will be key. We want to have a strong presence at local events no matter how big or small and give those that don’t always get coverage that opportunity.”

Chris Barker, managing director of the BKR Group, added: “The local community has wanted a paper like this for a long time. This is an obvious choice to offer a printed newspaper product alongside the other forms of online and direct marketing we already offer.

“It is an exciting time for the company and we are confident that we can offer a great product with competitive advertising rates.”

11 comments

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  • June 9, 2016 at 7:37 am
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    Good lad. Here’s to success against Johnston Press.

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  • June 9, 2016 at 7:43 am
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    Sounds good; I hope it all works out. Funny how the only positive stories from our industry seem to come from smaller and more genuinely local outfits than the corporate behemoths. And if Pete wants a “community content curation synergiser” (my last role with JP and a jolly important one too, though I’m a bit hazy about what I actually did) then drop me a line at the usual workstation…

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  • June 9, 2016 at 9:06 am
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    Is this really a “news” paper though?
    It looks to me like an advertising vehicle–nothing wrong with that–but to call it a “news” paper….hmm!

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  • June 9, 2016 at 9:21 am
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    Good luck Pete. You have proved you can have success in Scarborough and must be looking forward to repeating that in Brid…

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  • June 9, 2016 at 9:29 am
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    Gus, as a man facing redundancy, that has given me a huge laugh… Although I do wish one of these indie editors would write up a how to guide…

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  • June 9, 2016 at 10:32 am
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    Well good luck with this – but two things spring to mind. First, trying to do ‘news, when it’s a monthly is very hard because any interesting news quickly becomes old news which means stories are limited to those less dynamic ones that people already know about. Also that front page is a shocker. Who would want to pick up that? It has a gloomy image with no human interest whatsoever. – and as a front page lead a summer fayre is hardly going to set pulses racing with anticipation. I have never been to Bridlington but surely there is more to it than that?

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  • June 9, 2016 at 10:52 am
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    Interesting to note that the paper was not that much of a success given the statement it put out after Mr Spence left.

    “Save” is the key word in this post, it suggests that without an actual publisher stepping in the business was going under.

    Taken from its Facebook page:

    As some of you may already know, our Editor, Peter Spence is moving onto pastures new. We would like to say a huge thank you to Pete for all of his hard work.

    The newspaper wouldn’t exist if he hadn’t taken the risk to launch against an established newspaper group.
    He had the foresight to seek help when the project escalated beyond a one man band.
    As a family run business we promise to keep the very same local values, with all of the great local interest stories that Scarborough Review is known for, just as it has been for the last two years since we stepped in to save this great local paper.

    Dave Barry will be your local correspondent from now on, so if you have any great stories for us please contact us on here or call Dave direct on 01723 353597
    Good luck to Pete in whatever venture he chooses next and thank you for your continued support!

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  • June 9, 2016 at 12:10 pm
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    Desker you make some interesting points, and it s something that all new ventures need to consider.
    There’s simply no point setting up a new hyper local paper if all you are going to do is offer the same bland content that resulted in the failure of hundreds of local paid fors and frees.
    Sure you can Hoover up a some local advertising but if the local businesses find it boring and their customers don’t read it than pretty soon it is a dead duck – that happened to a rival paper to mine some years ago.
    Simply chanting the mantra “hyper local” means nothing if allyou are offering is the usual round of tedious press releases about “the world’s largest coffee morning”.
    A monthly could work – although it is not easy – if you are prepared to put in the effort and publish well written, intelligent analysis of the big local stories, thought-provoking features and interesting interviews.

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  • June 9, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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    PERCY: I was in Scarborough a year ago and picked up a copy of both the review (it’s free in most supermarkets) and the Scarborough News (which, shockingly, was actually a decent JP paper).

    The review is very local but apart from a one page history feature it appeared to be a collection of that month’s press releases and UGC pics. Nothing in depth and very little, i’m guessing, that hadn’t been in the JP paper

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  • June 10, 2016 at 10:10 am
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    need better front pages than this one! Dull, dull, dull.
    But good luck. I have never looked back since quitting the one-size fits all JP manic mob and working for a small, hard-working happy consistent and truly local independent paper devoid of Kremlin-like edicts.
    I see JP have been carrying a Euro Footy championship spread in weekly pages. Didn’t their motto used to be Life is Local!!!

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  • June 10, 2016 at 6:26 pm
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    Clearly some dont read captions ‘A mock-up of what the Echo will look like’. The comments about the headline are therefore irrelevant. I wish you all the best, its great to see local independants finally putting the likes of JP on the back foot! Long live those who try and a huge well done to those who have and will succeed!

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