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Johnston boosts ultra-local offering with new titles for Edinburgh districts

Johnston Press is continuing to target ultra-local communities with grassroots newspapers, with the launch of the Morningside and Bruntsfield Gazette.

The free monthly publication is the first district-based community newsletter launched by the group in Edinburgh, and two similar titles are to be launched in other areas of the city.

Around 4,000 copies of the first Morningside and Bruntsfield Gazette have been published, and include local news and advertising.

Some copies have been delivered door-to-door and they are also being made available to pick up in retail outlets and in schools and colleges.

Around the whole of the UK Johnston Press publishes almost 200 community newsletters, for small rural and local communities within metropolitan areas.

They are typically free, monthly pick-ups, although some are hand delivered, and they have a very parochial concept, covering an area of typically 4,000 to 6,000 homes.

Advertising is pitched at small independent high street shopkeepers.

Johnston Press chief executive Tim Bowdler said the group planned to launch more of the hyper-local titles.

He said: “We think there are a number of further areas where there is the potential for these to exist.

“They are profitable in their own right and make a positive contribution.

“They are simply part of our strategy of layering the market place and of giving smaller communities a publication that is specifically targeted for them.”

Each of the papers include local news content and are produced at the group’s local publishing offices, partly by its journalistic teams and partly contributed copy.

The first of the group’s community newsletters was launched in South Yorkshire, in the former mining community of Rossington, and there are now eight in that area, covering small mining villages.

  • The company recently agreed to buy eight weekly titles in Scotland from Archant for £11.2m, including the paid-for Ellon Times & East Gordon Advertiser, the Buchan Observer and the Fraserburgh Herald, as well as the free Extra, which is distributed around Glasgow, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Paisley. Do you have a story about the regional press?
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