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Lockwood launch imminent

The Dewsbury & District Press is due to hit the streets shortly in an operation designed to offer keen competition to existing local titles.

It is being set up by former Dewsbury Reporter and Lancaster Guardian editor Danny Lockwood.

From mid-March, the paid-for weekly will cover a patch currently served by RIM titles: the Dewsbury & Mirfield Reporters, Batley News and Birstall News, Spenborough Guardian and Heckmondwike Herald.

Six journalism posts have been created and much of the news is being contracted from the West Riding News Service, whose owner Martin Shaw is an experienced local journalist, previously with the Batley News and the Yorkshire Evening Post.

In a departure from the normal set-up, all the journalists are on bonuses and profit sharing, in addition to their salaries. The idea is to give everyone an incentive in the company selling more newspapers and adverts.

Preparing for the launch, Danny said: “We’re bringing national quality journalism to a local marketplace. We’re tabloid, very competitive on cover price and ultra competitive on advertising rates.

“Interest and demand from both readers and the retail trade has been stunning, and because of advertising bookings we’ve already had to increase colour slots and pagination, weeks before launch.”

From a production viewpoint, the new venture is using Quark XPress, but there are plans to use Adobe InDesign 2.0 on the ‘front end’ pages.

Danny said: “Adobe does everything Quark does and more, works in a more integrated fashion with other Adobe products like Photoshop and allows us to use Quark as well as it opens their pages and brings their style sheets and colour palettes with it.”

He knows the local area well, living in Dewsbury and having started at the Reporter as a trainee in 1978.

He has since subbed at the Yorkshire Post, been a reporter at the Yorkshire Evening Post, become editor-in-chief of the Reporter Group, edited the Gazette series in Gloucestershire, edited the Lancaster Guardian and run Newspost Media Services before embarking on the Weekly News project. He is also secretary of the Yorkshire region Society of Editors.

Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
e-mail pastill@nepmidlands.co.uk