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Newsquest to launch weekly in town weeks after daily’s closure

ian-savageA regional publisher is to launch a new weekly newspaper in a town which lost its daily title two weeks ago.

The Oldham Chronicle published its final edition on 31 August after 163 years of publication after parent company Hirst, Kidd and Rennie Limited went into administration.

But regional publisher Newsquest has moved swiftly to fill the gap with the launch of a new weekly title, the Oldham Times.

Priced 80p, it will go on sale for the first time next Thursday and will be edited by Bolton News editor Ian Savage, pictured left, who will add the title to his existing portfolio.

Newsquest says the Times will provide news, sport and comment on the local community, as well as a Weekend leisure guide and a free 7-Day TV guide and platforms for local advertisers.

Four new Oldham-based journalists have been recruited for the paper, with the remainder of the staff based in Bolton.  The distance between the two towns is around 15 miles.

Oldham new

Said Ian: “We hope that the people of Oldham will be delighted that they have a new community newspaper, following the sad demise of a long and well-established daily newspaper.

“We have recruited talented local reporters, who know Oldham and have worked here for a number of years, which will ensure residents are well informed of what is going on in their area.”

Nick Fellows, Newsquest North West’s Managing Director, added: “Oldham is a great and vibrant town which deserves to have its own dedicated newspaper.

“We believe there is a sustainable publishing future in Oldham as a weekly print brand and as a daily online news provider. A community of this size warrants a credible news title and we encourage both readers and advertisers to support this exciting new launch.”

KPMG, the adminitrators of Hirst, Kidde and Rennie, have previously said they are still trying to find a buyer for the Chronicle, but these efforts have so far proved unsuccessful.

The majority of the paper’s 49 staff were made redundant as a result of last month’s closure.

8 comments

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  • September 14, 2017 at 10:52 am
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    Its good to see the gap is being filled following the demise of the Oldham Chronicle however a TV Guide, Leisure Guide etc… seriously Newsquest think!
    You need to start focusing on what people want now!
    Spend some time on social media like it or not and get yourselves up to date! think about:-
    What are people looking at?
    What/who are they talking about?
    What do they want?
    How do they enjoy processing their news?
    I don’t believe a TV guide is at the top of their list or a Leisure section which is box standard in all papers and simply isn’t pulling in the readers anymore.
    Perhaps you should re-think your approach.
    Just my thoughts.
    Vicky Burles
    former Ad Manager

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  • September 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm
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    The seven-day TV guide makes me laugh. What a waste of print space and cost! Even my 92-year-old grandmother has a TV with a built-in guide which allows her to browse and set reminders for the shows she wants to watch.

    Same old format, same old issues!

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  • September 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm
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    I thought that about TV being a waste of space until my paper’s weekend TV pages (2 pages) didn’t go in a few months ago (the company that provided them sent the wrong week and we couldn’t get the correct one in time so it was replaced with news and house ads).

    It is the most complaints we’ve had in years. I think we had 80 across the week. If you use the old method that only one out of every 10 people will complain then it soon ads up.

    I think people of a certain age still want the guide, even if I don’t understand why myself

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  • September 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm
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    ‘Four new Oldham-based journalists have been recruited for the paper…’ It would be nice to know that these came from the recently jobless Chronicle reporters – or that they were at least approached to apply.

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  • September 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm
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    I’m not sure Vicky Burles is right to say that one needs to look to social media to know what people want from a newspaper. Those on social media have probably already decided they don’t need a newspaper. What the Oldham Times would do well to foster are that large number of mainly older readers who still treasure a printed product, don’t bother much, if at all, with the internet, but still have a good few newspaper-buying years left.
    It’s long been my contention that the regional press has been letting these people down, and that has played some small part in its current crisis.

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  • September 14, 2017 at 9:00 pm
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    Steve Dyson – I know that at least one of the Chron’s former journalists will be writing for the Oldham Times.

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  • September 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm
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    Will there be a free web site builder for local community groups as the oldham chronicle provided this service for many years.

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  • September 18, 2017 at 12:05 pm
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    Dawn, is that serious question or a joke I don’t get?

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