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A dozen new free papers launched by Tindle

One of the biggest launches seen in the UK regional press industry will bring a series of 12 monthly community newspapers created by Tindle Newspapers.

The company says they will be full of very local parish-pump news, features, photographs and advertising.

Twelve new free papers have been or are being launched by Tindle Newspapers in the West Country and Wales alone as part of this plan.

One is jointly owned with Northcliffe, with more being considered by the two groups. As well as Northcliffe, discussions are taking place with other publishers to launch jointly-owned titles.

The monthly titles are the North Cornwall Post and Diary, West Devon Diary, The Alton Diary, South Hams Diary, Teignbridge Times & Diary, Ross Recorder and Archenfield Diary, Monmouth Merlin & Diary, Abergavenny Gazette & Diary, The Brecon Advertiser & Diary, The Forest Flyer & Diary, Mid Somerset Journal & Diary and the West Somerset Diary.

With other monthly publications previously acquired or launched experimentally, Tindle’s total of monthlies is now 34.

Tindle managing director Brian Doel said: “In all cases the advertisement market in the local areas was expanded rather than being spread more thinly and most made good profit.

“The second editions are being prepared and are even better supported by local advertisers.”

Owner Sir Ray Tindle said: “Results so far are most encouraging, with no impact on the weeklies in the relevant areas.

“One of the keys to success is the Diary, which is included in the newspapers. There can be no doubt about the future for this type of newspaper within our publishing portfolio or the opportunity that they represent.

“One of our papers already has revenue of nearly £50,000 per month, another has reached £35,000 per month – mostly from local ads that traditional weekly titles are less able to capture.”

  • Sir Ray (left), Kevin Beatty (right) and Northcliffe’s Lord Rothermere at the launch of the North Cornwall Post & Diary
  • Kevin Beatty, managing director of Northcliffe said: “We are very interested in this new approach to serving the local community.

    “The attraction of the monthly publishing frequency to local advertisers has been tested and proven in our joint venture with Tindle Newspapers. We are keen to learn from Tindle’s experience with this type of publication.”

    Kent Messenger Group chairman Edwin Boorman said: “We are watching Ray Tindle’s launches with interest. We ourselves have five monthlies, though these are glossies rather than newsprint locals.

    “Ray is looking to unlock a new level of advertising revenue not entirely reaching our existing publications at present.”

    Chris Roberts, chief executive of Surrey & Berkshire Newspapers, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with Tindle Newspapers on this monthly concept and feel there is an ideal starting point for a first joint venture.”

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