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Names, faces, places the key says Tindle as he toasts new title launch

Veteran newspaper publisher Sir Ray Tindle has once more hailed hyperlocalism as the key to beating the recession as he marked the launch of a new title in North London.

The entrepreneur staged a celebratory lunch yesterday to mark the first issue of the Chingford Times a fortnight ago.

He said the new 40-page title had gone into profit on day one and that the second issue would be even bigger at 44 pages.

Sir Ray also revealed that previous launches of new hyperlocal weeklies in the capital had had to be rethought because the advertisement rate structure had been wrong.

He said that he told the new title’s managing director Scott Wood and editor Greg Fidgeon to put “names, faces and places” in the paper.

Said Sir Ray:  “The editorial content was suberb.  Every line about Chingford and 290 Chingford faces.  “I’ve been in local papers 64 years and I ‘ve never seen better local content.”

“We first launched attempts at hyperlocal weeklies last year in the Enfield and Barnet areas.  They were editorially superb but we had the advertisement rate structure wrong.

“Now this summer, based on these earlier experiments, we’ve had our best attempt yet.”

Sir Ray went on:  “Most new papers take a while to become accepted and viable.  The Chingford Times went into good profit on day one.

“Extra copies were required by newsagents after two days of selling the first issue.”

Guests at the lunch included the deputy general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, Michelle Stanistreet, who officially takes over as general secretary today.

The NUJ was recently involved in a dispute with Tindle Newspapers over the non-replacement of staff at other London titles although this has now been settled.

Said Michelle:  “On behalf of the NUJ I would like to wish you every success and hope that this business model can be rolled out to other newspapers.

“I would like to say thank you to Sir Ray for his commitment to his papers and believe that by taking brave decisions such as this it will help get the industry back on its feet.”

Sir Ray Tindle presents NUJ general secretary-elect Michelle Stanistreet with a basket of flowers at yesterday's celebration lunch



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  • July 1, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I admire his enthusiasm and optimism. But to quote Rupert Murdoch, like or loathe him: “It’s hard to find anyone under the age of 30 who reads newspapers these days.” Good luck though – I think you will need it.

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  • July 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    “It’s hard to find anyone under the age of 30 who reads newspapers these days.”

    Possibly because so many of them have watered down their commitment to local grass-roots coverage of parish-pump, school, village and community news, which is what Sir Ray is (very bravely) attempting to uphold.

    I’ve never forgotten what it was like appearing in my local weekly (long since discontinued) for winning a national poetry competition prize at school, or seeing my grandparents’ diamond wedding, or other people I knew or recognised grinning inanely over cheque presentations or at some community event.

    Yes, younger people today share such stuff via social media, but there’s still a market for an inclusive, comprehensive, people-friendly community newspaper which can still be of wide interest.

    Working properly in conjunction with a newspaper website and plenty of cross-referencing of additional and related material, each can act as a gateway to the other.

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  • July 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    “It’s hard to find anyone under the age of 30 who reads newspapers these days.”

    Clearly Rupert has not been on the Bus or Tube for a while then

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