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Bullivant brands Trinity Mirror as 'barmy'

Newspaper entrepreneur Chris Bullivant has branded regional publisher Trinity Mirror “barmy” at a launch party for his new weekly title.

The Birmingham Press hit the streets on Friday, the day after the launch of Trinity’s Birmingham Post Lite.

The new paper is edited by Trinity’s former Midlands weeklies editorial director Tony Lennox and much of the copy is being supplied by other former Trinity staff who are now freelancing.

Speaking at a champagne and canapes launch party for the new title on Friday night, Mr Bullivant taunted his rivals for having allowed them to leave.

“You are such nice people, Trinity Mirror are barmy for getting rid of you,” he told partygoers at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens.

“Trinity Mirror has allowed Tony to create a great newspaper. I think we have a formidable team to give Trinity Mirror a run for their money.”

Mr Bullivant also appeared to call into question the future of Trinity’s daily flagship, the Bimingham Mail.

“I don’t think there’s a long-term future for dailies anymore – I think there will be a future for papers with comments and analysis,” he said.

Both the Press and Post Lite are targeting wealthy Birmingham suburbs such as Edgbaston, Moseley and Harborne in a bid to take control of the lucrative property advertising market in the second city.

Mr Bullivant told HTFP that the paper would be on sale across the city but would not be delivered free to the same locations and homes week after week.

He said he hoped the strategy would hook readers in and encourage them to go out and buy the edition when it did not drop through their letter box.

Trinity Mirror has not responded to Mr Bullivant’s comments.

  • Former Mail editor Steve Dyson will be giving a detailed review of both the Press and Post Lite in his HTFP blog this Wednesday.

    Writing on Birmingham-based website The Stirrer, he said Trinity’s decision to launch the free Post Lite as a “spoiler” for the Press could result in it “stuffing” the paid-for version.

    “I fear that the main loser in this battle could well end up being the Post, a product with an already delicate circulation which could be decimated or worse by the mistaken strategy of Trinity Mirror,” he said.

    “I also worry that the losers could include a reduced-quality Birmingham Mail, robbed of its already stretched manpower to help produce more content for the Lite, an extra sister paper that the joint newsroom was just not staffed up to resource.”


    Hengist Pod (26/04/2010 14:32:08)
    This is rich indeed – coming from Lord Barmy himself of Barmyville. This new title is about as barmy as they come “no newsroom as such – but network of freelance correspondents”. It’s tking shoestring journalism to new depths and as such is doomed to failure.

    Chanticleer (26/04/2010 16:08:41)
    Whatever you think about Bullivant ( resenting success is a mark of those who have never succeeded) , the bloke is producing Local Newspapers locally. The “Press” business model may be novel, and who knows if in today’s economic climate it will succeed.At least he is having a go! He has built a considerable newspaper presence in the Midlands by repeatedly placing his reputation on the line.

    Hengist Pod (26/04/2010 16:35:21)
    After the ups and downs of the Bullivant empire in recent times this really is drinking at the last chance saloon. Even Mr B himself says ‘it’s his Waterloo’. The big question is whether he’s Wellington or Napoleon et je pense il et le latter.

    ilovenewspapers (26/04/2010 17:25:28)
    Hengist Pod -you do come across as somewhat arrogant -yes Bullivant does not have a newsroom with reporters chained to their desks regurgitating Press releases, he has a network of people living and writing in the villages/towns and cities that they live in, producing good old fashioned community news! I certainly know which one I prefer..

    Hengist Pod (26/04/2010 17:31:34)
    And so ilovenewspapers…..what exactly do you do for Mr Bullivant?
    Your partisanship is as thinly disguised as the made up letter on the letters page of the new Birmingham Press!

    Vant Bully (26/04/2010 17:54:50)
    Why doesn’t Mr B actually take on all these marvellous people as staff instead of using them as freelancers which can be got ride of at the drop of a hat?

    B17 (27/04/2010 10:32:12)
    Thought they were both delivered free in Harborne? No sign of either yet through our front door.

    Surfer Joe (27/04/2010 10:48:54)
    It’s great to see someone like Chris Bullivant having a go, rather than joining everyone else in whinging about the recession. Surely more freelance work being available out there is at least better than no work being available at this time?
    More of the same please.

    Sly dig (27/04/2010 12:22:28)
    So what is wrong with his statement. TM is barmy. I shoudl know, they used to employee me, fortunately for myself, they don’t anymore, I got out nearly five years ago but, even then, the writing was well and truly on the wall.

    ilovenewspapers (28/04/2010 15:11:52)
    Hengist Pod -your assumtion that I work for Bullivant is both incorrect and immature! I never have worked for Bullivant, instead worked for over 20 yrs for one of the big corporates. Anyway using your level of inteligent debate I should therefore assume that you work for Trinity Mirror?!

    Sly Dig (28/04/2010 16:50:04)
    I’ve worked for both them, and I know which of the two was the better employer and more committed to newspapers. A quick clue, it isn’t the one with a Fleet Street title.

    Oooh Arthur (29/04/2010 13:53:19)
    This newspaper war has caused me no end of trouble, mainly the £350 bill from the vet afte the weight of both hefty publications flattening my Pekinese dog.
    Go easy on the pagination for goodness sake!