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Newspaper publishers' joint venture for new weekly title

A new free weekly newspaper is set for launch by two publishers next month in the Midlands.

Iliffe News and Media, in a joint venture with Observer Standard Newspapers, will be publishing the Nuneaton Observer from April 2.

It is expected to go out to around 50,000 homes in the Warwickshire town.

Iliffe already publishes the Heartland Evening News, in Nuneaton, and editorial content and advertising sales for the new title will mainly be provided by existing staff within the Nuneaton office.

They will be supported by the Observer Standard Newspaper team, in nearby Coventry.

David Fordham, chief executive of Iliffe News and Media, said: “Since acquiring the Heartland Evening News in June 2006, we have been considering our publishing strategy for Nuneaton.

“The opportunity of joining forces with Observer Standard Newspapers in Nuneaton is an exciting one.

“We already have a title in the market and Observer Standard Newspapers has considerable knowledge of this particular part of the West Midlands and a proven track record and formula for free newspaper launches.”

Chris Bullivant, chairman of Observer Standard Newspapers, said: “I believe that OSN are innovative in the newspaper industry, having launched the first free weekly newspaper, The Banbury Focus, and the first free daily, The Daily News in Birmingham.

“I am delighted to join forces with Iliffe News and Media, in Nuneaton, and am very excited about the prospects for this joint venture.”

Iliffe News and Media has a combined circulation and distribution of almost 1.2 million copies per week. Its titles include the Staffordshire Newsletter, Burton Mail and Cambridge Evening News.

The Observer Standard Group publishes 18 free titles in the Midlands including the Coventry Observer, Worcester Standard and Bromsgrove Standard.


Critical eye (30/03/2008 11:55:00)
I see, so the former owners of the Birmingham Post & Mail (Iliffe) join forces with the man (Bullivant) who is trying to compete with the Trinity Mirror owned giant! Do I smell a possible interest of Iliffe in his former territory? Nuneaton is on the periphery, but Bullivant is currently waring with Trinity Mirror in Solihull… and maybe Biringham next??