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Two broadsheet titles merge to form tabloid

Two weekly broadsheet newspapers have merged to create one new tabloid-sized paper, just a month after a new editor was appointed.

The Wharfedale and Airedale Observer, which was first published in 1880, has joined together with the Ilkley Gazette, which is in its 150th year, and the first edition of the Ilkley, Wharfedale & Airedale Gazette & Observer hit the streets last week, along with a newly-named website.

It has been designed to be easier to handle by readers and provide more news, sport and better entertainment coverage but will keep the regular features from the titles.

Malcolm Hoddy was appointed editor of the papers last month as part of a shake-up at the Newsquest papers in West Yorkshire, also remaining in his role at the helm of the Keighley News.

  • The new-look paper which has hit the newsstands.
  • In an article introducing the new-look paper to readers, he wrote: “It is always a challenge introducing change, but I truly believe that we have produced an exciting local newspaper and website fit for the future.

    “We already know that many people will find it easier to handle and looking inside, there’s a more comprehensive news service from Ilkley, Wharfedale and Aireborough.

    “Along with more news there’s more sport, better coverage of entertainment and the arts, plus all of the regular content and features.

    “This week, as the film title says, we’ve gone back to the future with the special supplement packed with pictures from across the years from all parts of the district.

    “All in all, our award-winning designers have put together a really classy, quality product which will appeal to new readers while maintaining and improving all that’s great about the former titles the Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale and Airedale Observer.”

  • A previous edition of the broadsheet Ilkley Gazette.
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    • February 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Great idea turning the papers tabloid, they both definitely needed a facelift and something to make them more accessible. I don’t think combining the two is a good idea though. I grew up in Ilkley and know how much of an identity the town has. Merging the two papers, which together cover a wide area, will drive down the interest for readers. My parents (weekly readers of the Ilkley Gazette) get bored when news from Addingham goes in there, let alone Otley, Guiseley and further afield. I agree there was definite need for change, but this smacks of Newsquest Bradford trying to cut costs by getting staff from one publication to produce the workload and content of two papers rather than spending money to make the changes required. Good luck to everyone involved in the venture, I hope (as an Ilkley Gazette fan) I am made to eat my words in a few months’ time!

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