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Newspaper circulation war hits university city

A newspaper circulation battle is set to break out in Cambridge after two rival publishers launched new weekly titles in the city on the same day.

Norwich-based Archant launched its new part-free, part paid-for Cambridge First yesterday in the heart of what has hitherto been Iliffe News and Media’s patch.

But Iliffe hit back with Cambridge Now, a new free ‘Metro-style’ publication which will be given out to commuters and city workers each Thursday.

Iliffe already publishes the city’s paid-for daily, the Cambridge News, along with another free weekly, the Cambridge News and Crier.

Archant is marketing its new title as a ’21st century weekly newspaper’ which it says will point the way towards the future for local newspapers with its multi-platform and multiple route to market approach.

These will include paid-for sales, free pick-up locations, hand-delivery to targeted customers at high footfall points and personal delivery.

The company claims First will be “a new generation newspaper with original design and content, backed by a number of carefully-crafted and monitored methods of reaching a new audience.”

Editorial director Paul Richardson said: “Cambridge is ready for something fresh and new with an open and positive news agenda and this will be it.”

Meanwhile Iliffe is promising its 64-page tabloid Now will be “a light, bright read with a lively mix of news, pictures and opinion.”

Thirty Iliffe staff swamped the city centre from 6.30am on launch day yestersday, with thousands of copies given away at the city’s station and park and ride sites.

Cambridge Newspapers managing director, Graham Ayres, said: “It’s a lighter, shorter read for those who like a weekly at-a-glance digest of news from Cambridge – coupled with jobs, property and a guide to what’s happening in the city.”

“We believe we are meeting the needs of all the people who live, work, visit and study in our great city and if people want to know about Cambridge now, tomorrow and every day then we really do offer unrivalled coverage for both readers and advertisers.”


Only one winner Now (28/05/2010 15:42:26)
looking at these two there is no competition. Cambridge Now looks much more exciting. Is that the best First can do for its First issue!

katie (01/06/2010 09:17:56)
Well done and good luck Archant

Bystander (01/06/2010 10:01:18)
First genuinely looks like a completely new product idea. Looking forward to seeing how it does after the initial flush of enthusiasm from Archant.

Gordon Hamilton (22/06/2010 16:01:07)
They both look like local council giveaways to me.