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Midlands weekly to be merged with one-time rival

A weekly newspaper in Staffordshire is ceasing publication after its owners bought a rival title.

Iliffe News and Media is to merge Your Leek Paper with the Leek Post and Times, which it purchased from Northcliffe for a seven-figure sum in June.

Your Leek Paper was launched as an independent title by former Leek Post and Times journalists in 2003 before being bought by IN&M subsidiary Staffordshire Newspapers in 2006.

Its founder Alan Lyford said:  “I am very sad to see Your Leek Paper go as I expected to see it around for a lot longer. But these are tough times for the media, as they are for most businesses.”

The announcement of the title’s closure was carried in a story in yesterday’s edition.

It read:  “This is the last edition of Your Leek Paper as a stand-alone newspaper. From next week, it will be incorporated into the Leek Post & Times.

“We plan to grow the combined newspaper and welcome any ideas you have on what you would like to see.

“There will also be a new joint website where you will be able to access all content online at”

Your Leek Paper was launched by a group of Post & Times journalists who left that title after Northcliffe bought it from the Hill Brothers in 2003, with some of them sinking their redundancy money into the title.

Its first editor was Gary Shenton, who had previously edited the Post & Times and had worked for Hill Bros for 32 years.

At its height, Your Leek Paper sold 4,569 copies each week.  Its most recently-audited circulation figure was 2,866.

The Leek Post and Times has an average weekly sale of 11,419 according to the most recent ABC figures.

It is unclear as yet whether any jobs are affected by the merger.

Staffordshire Newspapers has not responded to requests for further comment on the closure.