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Sunday newspaper and 17 jobs saved as football chairman steps in

A regional Sunday newspaper which announced its closure earlier this month has been saved after being taken over by a football club’s chairman.

The Sunday Independent ceased trading two weeks ago after more than 200 years in print, but now the title, based in the Cornish town of Liskeard, has revealed it will be up and running again in time for this coming Sunday.

West Country businessman Peter Masters, who is chairman and co-owner of Truro City Football Club, has been unveiled as the Independent’s new proprietor.

Seventeen jobs have been saved as a result of the paper’s revival.

From left: New Sunday Independent proprietor Peter Masters, editor John Collings and managing director Colin Bradbury

From left: New Sunday Independent proprietor Peter Masters, editor John Collings and managing director Colin Bradbury

Said Peter: “Like so many of our family of readers, I’ve read the Indy every Sunday all my life. There was no way I could stand aside and let such a loved and respected part of the West Country sporting scene pass into history.

“We have lots of plans for the Indy moving forward but our driving motivation is what it has always been – to back sport in the West Country from grass roots to the top level with unrivalled in-depth quality coverage.”

The paper, which has a particular focus on sport, ran a series of editions covering Cornwall, Plymouth, Devon and Bristol & Somerset.

Its previous proprietor, Brian Doel, passed away last August.

Peter, whose club Truro City play at English football’s sixth level in the National League South, added: “We have lots of plans for the Indy moving forward but our driving motivation is what it has always been – to back sport in the West Country from grass roots to the top level with unrivalled in-depth quality coverage.”

Following the takeover, the Independent will go on sale at £1.20 each week – 20p more than previously.

Writer and photojournalist Colin Bradbury, the paper’s new managing director, said: “Our first and most important task will be to get the Indy that people love, complete with our existing team of writers and contributors, back in the shops this Sunday, 23 April.

“We hope that given the challenges the paper has faced in recent weeks, people will understand the need for this small price rise – the first for nearly a decade – to keep the title alive.”

Editor John Collings, who has worked for the Independent since 1988, added: “We have been simply overwhelmed by the messages of love and affection for the paper and we thank everybody for their support. This great news gives us a solid platform to continue and make the Indy even better.”

8 comments

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  • April 18, 2017 at 6:05 pm
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    I don’t suppose that paper will manage to get banned by the club!

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  • April 19, 2017 at 12:25 am
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    Local ownership and a sensible margin is the way forward.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 9:24 am
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    Fantastic news … will look forward to Sunday! Good luck to the new owner and all the team.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 9:46 am
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    Good luck to those involved in this good news takeover.
    I don’t know anything about this title but I assume it’s a community paper covering all aspects of local life?if so hopefully it will contribute to do so and not become a primarily local football/sports paper or the organ of the local football club which would lose more readers than it attracts.
    I also assume the new team will be investing sufficiently in the title and run it along profitable and sustainable lines to ensure longevity.

    A positive move so good wishes to all involved.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 10:09 am
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    Great news. Good to see that this paper has fallen into the right hands. Someone who understands it, is passionate about it and the community it serves. Let’s hope that readers keep backing it. Use it or lose it.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 11:43 am
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    Brilliant to hear some positive news about people running a paper who like journalism rather than sucking up to shareholders.
    But it will be interesting if the football club drops a clanger to see just how Independent the paper is.
    On the other hand a lot of submitted copy from local clubs filling the sports pages of most weekly papers is hopelessly biased and unbalanced so maybe it does not matter.

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