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Western Mail boss again rules out weekly switch

The editor of the Western Mail has issued a further categorical denial that the Welsh daily title has any plans to go weekly.

Owners Trinity Mirror had already denies claims by the National Union of Journalists that it was

Now its editor Alan Edmunds has reiterated the message in an appearance before Welsh Assembly members inquiring into the future of the country’s media.

He said there were “absolutely no plans” either to take the Western Mail weekly or to sell it.

Said Alan: “I can’t see a scenario where it would make business sense for us to turn it weekly.  I can categorically say that we have absolutely no plans, no intention, of turning the Western Mail weekly.”

One member of the inquiry panel, Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins, has called on the Welsh government to nationalise the paper.

But Alan responded:  “We are a private company producing newspapers, websites for Wales. Wales needs that.

“Wales needs an independent, private, commercial news service and I think it would be all the poorer if it didn’t have one.

“The idea of public ownership of those assets is based on very little substance.   There’s no question of us wanting to sell the Western Mail.”

He added that the company had no plans to shed any more staff, but said:  “If we were to make any changes then our staff would be the first to know.”

Also giving evidence at yesterday’s inquiry session was Beverly Thomas, managing editor of Tindle Newspapers’ Welsh division Cambrian News Ltd.

She said the key to a “vibrant” local media in the principality was “truly local, community-orientated newspapers,” saying she did not believe these were under threat from the internet.

“Despite the recession, Tindle Newspapers has continued acquiring publications, and has also launched new publications in core areas,” she said.

“Just this week. Sir Ray has launched a new paid-for weekly in Wales, the Chepstow Review.”

Ms Thomas also called on public bodies to give more public notices business to weekly titles at the expense of daily ones.

“We would like to see less dominance of the regional dailies in the public notices market,” she said.

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