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Bullivant opens new front in Brum newspaper battle

Entrepreneur Chris Bullivant has upped the stakes in the Birmingham ‘newspaper wars’ by launching another newspaper title.

The Birmingham Free Press is being launched as a sister paper to the part-free, part paid-for Birmingham Press which hit the streets in April.

The Free Press, which as its name suggests will be entirely free, will be distributed to 60,000 homes in the south-east and south-west of the city and will contain a mixture of news, leisure and sport.

It is envisaged that the 72-page paper will contain at least 40 pages of property advertising.

Editor Tony Lennox said: “This is an exciting second phase of our plans to break into the Birmingham market.

“The paid-for Press has been exceptionally well received in the city. The Free Press will give us even greater penetration.”

Trinity Mirror, the dominant media player in Britain’s second city, has already launched the Birmingham Post Lite in a bid to defend its patch.

The Post itself was relaunched as a weekly last November. Mr Bullivant’s latest move means Birmingham now has four more weekly titles, albeit with one fewer daily, than it did a year ago.


Oh deary me (22/06/2010 15:35:05)
Exceptionally well received. Now there’s a phrase. Complete cobblers too. I would suggest that Birmingham Free Press is being launched because they’ve realised their model for the Press is a balls up. In the meantime, his existing titles suffer in the quest to prop up the ego of Mr Bullivant – and we all know where that got his comapany last time.

Shurely some mistake (22/06/2010 15:48:51)
Surely that should be ‘failed entrepreneur’ or do we not mention Bullivant’s recent problems? This isn’t good news for journalists, as he employs only one or two full time. The rest on a per-story basis.

not surprised (22/06/2010 17:05:40)
So ‘exceptionally well received’ that they’ve already halved the cover price to 50p?

Desperation (22/06/2010 17:07:14)
So, one paid for that’s given away for nothing followed by a free paper. What next, one he’ll pay people to read?

MAILMAN (23/06/2010 11:35:18)
It’s worth pointing out that the Post and Mail is responding by expanding the property and news in the Birmingham Mail Extra – their south city freebie. In addition to the Post Lite launched to combat the B’ham Press. It’s also worth pointing out that to produce the Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post, Sunday Mercury, Mail Extra (now expanded) and Post Lite there is a grand total of six dedicated designers and it is also worth pointing out that the much vaunted Contentwatch ‘design free’ system now exported to the nationals at Trinity Mirror, has been a total failure and is simply not fit for purpose for use in the way originally intended. The question is what will collapse first – Bullivant’s crazy attempt to get a piece of the shrinking advertising pie in Birmingham, or the ‘multimedia desk’ operators at the Post and Mail.

OpticNerve (23/06/2010 12:44:37)
I bought one and had one free.
This boasted effort to challenge the Mail/Post set up is, for starters, producing boring groups and certainly lacks refined picture editing. Back to the drawing board Bulli.

Cranky (23/06/2010 15:26:24)
Oh dear Mailman, you are very angry and perhaps for good reason. But you have to remember that it’s not the computer system which causes the problems, it is the way it is used. Would you rather go back to the old system you had because, if you look around the country, a lot of newspapers are using very old systems with fewer staff too.

Donald (23/06/2010 15:28:36)
Mailman’s assessment of his newsroom is interesting, but not complete. He hasn’t mentioned what the newsroom has stopped producing to cope with the extra workload. Nothing like half the story, is there?

the red postman (24/06/2010 09:04:57)
If it’s been ‘exceptionally well-received’ why not put whatever money is available (which appears not to be much) into making it exceptionally good rather than diluting the product by putting out a ‘lite’ version?

mailman (24/06/2010 09:44:09)
All I can say to you Donald is HA! If only we had reduced what we were doing – in fact as my post points out we’re doing more. Somehow we’re getting by on goodwill, people working more than their hours and the (very) occasional overtime payment. We’ve had one of the planners leave and four months later she’s not been replaced, although the company has pledged to do so.

Nick White (24/06/2010 10:58:36)
Yes but it seems to me that Trinity Mirror have almost had a monopoly on the Birmingham market. Why is giving readers more choice a bad thing for the city?

Hengist Pod (24/06/2010 11:24:49)
It’s a bit like the Iran-Iraq war – there can only be losers here, no winners

It could be worse…. (25/06/2010 11:23:04)
Its worth noting that only 4 weeks after launching a tiltle for a pound and reducing it as a special offer to 50p and then launching s free version of the same poor product is worthy of an award…. the award being the iilest concieved newspaper since Today!!!