A regional publisher has reversed a decision made just three months ago to merge two weekly newspapers following an outcry from readers.
But readers have not welcomed the merger and editor Malcolm Hoddy said the strength of feeling had resulted in a decision to bring back the previous titles.
The papers will be back on the streets next week as separate titles, in a reversal of a merger believed to be unique in newspaper history.
Malcolm said: “There was such strength of feeling among readers about the old titles that we felt it was absolutely the right thing to do.
“Weekly newspapers are all about their local community and we’re happy to prove that we’re willing to listen to what the readers are telling us.”
Following the launch of the new paper, readers were asked for their feedback and meetings were also held with local councillors, community groups and newsagents.
David Coates, Newsquest Yorkshire and North East regional managing director, said: “We knew that introducing change, both in size format and in bringing our two ‘Wharfedale’ titles together as the Gazette & Observer, was a risk and readers have made their feelings known to us.
“The overwhelming majority like the change to compact format but most tell us they want their own newspaper back. And that’s exactly what we intend to do in bringing back the Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale Observer.”
The move will also see the return of a number of editionised news, sport and features pages each week.