Baylis and Co, the publishers of the Maidenhead Advertiser Series in Berkshire, has snapped up the Windsor & Eton Express and the Slough & South Bucks Express titles from Berkshire Media Group, a subsidiary of Dunfermline Press.
The Express titles, published since 1812, were converted from paid-for to free titles under previous owner Trinity Mirror and have been disposed of in the wake of a competition agreement surrounding Dunfermline Press’s acquisition of the Trinity Mirror newspapers.
They have a current distribution of approximately 49,000 copies.
The Maidenhead Advertiser, founded in 1869, is Berkshire’s biggest selling paid-for weekly, selling 23,450 copies a week.
Baylis and Co is unique among regional papers in that it is owned by a charitable trust established by former editor and proprietor Louis Baylis in the 1960s to safeguard the paper’s independence and tradition of public service.
The Baylis family is still intimately involved in the running of the company, with two fifth-generation members on its board of directors.
Chairman and chief executive Jeremy Spooner said: “The Express titles are a perfect fit for our current business.
“The Windsor Express serves the other half of the same Royal Borough as the Maidenhead Advertiser and the Slough Express opens up a whole new market for us in a vibrant area that includes the largest trading estate in Europe and a huge number of shops and businesses.
“The acquisition is an exciting time for our company and for the staff and titles that will be coming into our care. It is a very proud moment in our history as it is, without doubt, the biggest expansion the company has ever undertaken.
“This exciting move will strengthen our company, making it better placed to face the challenges ahead for local newspapers, and ensure all our titles can continue the invaluable tradition of serving their communities.”
Paul (09/05/2008 16:27:21)
Farewell Trinity Mirror but here’s a pointer to the future of local and regional newspapers perhaps:
“Baylis and Co is unique among regional papers in that it is owned by a charitable trust established by former editor and proprietor Louis Baylis in the 1960s to safeguard the paper’s independence and tradition of public service.”
Richard Heaton (12/05/2008 17:03:28)
Just to add, for those unfamiliar with the Windsor and Eton Express. The early issues of this Newspaper Title are some of the best 19th Journalism I’ve been fortunate to come across (quite a number of newspapers were dire !). While I’ve put a number of transcripts on the web, this will only ever be a drop in the ocean, and it would be far more valuable if Baylis and Co. looked to digitalise the archive, and possibly the other historic titles in their portfolio.
Kanchan Dutt (31/07/2008 07:27:55)
My first job as a reporter was on the Slough Express and I was shocked to say the least when the Slough Observer’s owners bought it. It’s only slightly less shocking now that it’s in the hands of the Advertiser. The rivalry was so intense for so long between all these three that I could never imagine one in the hands of the other.