St Austell has a new paid-for weekly newspaper.
The St Austell Voice hit the streets to give independent newspaper entrepreneur Andrew Laming his second title in Cornwall.
Andrew, who brought out the Newquay Voice in September 2001, is in competition with Northcliffe, whose big-selling Cornish Guardian and West Briton titles circulate in the Restormel area of the county.
He said: “The launch of the St Austell title is a milestone for us here at the Voice and a testament to the popularity and success of the Newquay paper.”
The Voice’s new editor Nick Hudson said the aim was to serve local communities.
He said: “Some publishers these days seem hell-bent on pulling up the drawbridge and slamming down the portcullis on Joe Public.
“We intend to keep in close touch with our community. We still want people to visit us, see us and speak to us about the issues which are bothering them.
“And that welcoming approach to let the people in will transfer itself across the pages of a newspaper that is local in origination and production with locally-residing journalists and photographer.”
Nick, a former boss of Raymonds Press Agency in Derby, is no stranger to launches and revamps, and helped free entrepreneur Lionel Pickering bring out new Trader titles in Nottingham and Nuneaton in the 1980s as well as other frees for various proprietors in Sandwell, south Birmingham – and the ill-fated Mill House Media Sunday titles in Stoke, Sutton Coldfield and Tamworth.
The St Austell title will sell for 40p, less than half the price of its 85p rival Cornish Guardian.
It launched with two front-page exclusives – on a Methodist minister’s husband, called Church, jailed for harassing her and a PC on a drink-driving charge.
The launch issue also had 1,000 good reasons for buying it – with 500 free pints of beer to readers at the local St Austell Brewery and 500 Tesco Computers For Schools Vouchers in a competition inside the paper.
Nick said: “I am very excited about working with a young staff of reporters and photographer who want to meet the people of the area and portray its life in the pages of the paper.”
He is joined by St Austell-bred senior Susie Carter, (24), from the West Briton, with ex-The Cornishman, Hereford Times, Ludlow Advertiser and Basingstoke Observer senior Warren Wilkins, (32). Phil Bunt is looking after sports coverage and former Norton College Sheffield student Peter Willows, (23), is the staff photographer in his first jobs in newspapers.