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Weekly newspaper start-up celebrates 100th issue

An independent weekly newspaper set up in 2008 by two former Northcliffe executives is celebrating having reached its 100th issue.

The Cleethorpes Chronicle was established nearly two years ago by Mark Webb, former managing director of Grimsby and Scunthorpe Newspapers, and former Grimsby Telegraph deputy editor Nigel Lowther.

Despite the recession, the part paid-for, part-free title has gone from strength to strength and circulation has now grown to 11,000 copies a week.

The last paid-for weekly to distribute in the North East Lincolnshire seaside resort disappeared more than 30 years ago.

Said Mark: “We were convinced there was a market for our product but there were many skeptics.

“It depended who you spoke to but most people within the industry thought we were crazy to launch a newspaper against established, nationally-owned competition, and gave us anywhere between 12 weeks and six months.

“What we did not know was that, only months after we launched, the country would find itself in the midst of a deep recession which clearly impacted on our plans.

“It’s been quite a journey over the last two years but we have more than survived, and are trading strongly.

“The key to our business has been accessible, value-for-money advertising rates and a real commitment to the community and businesses we serve.

“It really makes a difference when the owners of a newspaper actually live in the town it serves.”

Added Nigel: “People doubted whether Cleethorpes could sustain a weekly paper editorially and we felt that, if nearby towns with smaller populations could justify a weekly, then Cleethorpes and its surrounding villages could.

“We fill it with names and faces every week and we pride ourselves on going back to good, old-fashioned community journalism. It also helps our experienced team live in the area and the paper is written and edited in the heart of the community it serves.”

Mark and Nigel, who between them have almost 40 years experience in the regional newspaper industry, are already looking forward to the next 100 editions.

Future plans include a new approach to online publishing and expanding reach to even more areas in North East Lincolnshire.


Nimrod (11/02/2010 10:14:56)
Congrats to them, just goes to show get the content right keep the costs down, and there is a future for local print. But perhaps not enough in the pot to pay shareholders. Who knows after the up turn Mr brown promises is any day now as tracor production is up. Perhaps their old employers will buy the title make them rich and then ruin it as they have with so many others!
A good candidate for Mr Dysons attention ?
Tally Ho

All Subbed Out (11/02/2010 13:26:58)
Congratulations to them. Perhaps they should sue Northcliffe on the grounds of misdescription for rhe right to use the slogan “At the heart of all things local”, as Northcliffe clearly forfeit any claim to the description some time ago. Seriously, expansion is laudible, but overstretching themselves would be a shame.

Johnboy Walton (12/02/2010 09:10:45)
Old-fashioned community journalism? What a great idea! Perhaps the Grimsby Telegraph, Scunthorpe Telegraph, Hull Mail and other Northcliffe newspapers could adopt this sensible approach?

Steve Dyson (12/02/2010 12:04:37)
Good idea, Nimrod. Without announcing exactly when, I’ll wend my way over for a seaside visit in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, I’m about to focus on the NW again for nexst week, what with all the ownership activity… MEN done, Scousers next?