Regional newspaper publisher Northcliffe Media has launched a new free weekly newspaper in Essex, going head to head with a rival paid-for title.
The Romford Gazette was launched today and will form part of the Gazette series, which already covers Brentwood, Ongar, North Weald, Billericay and Wickford.
The title will be overseen by Nev Wilson, editor of the Brentwood Gazette, which won paid-for weekly newspaper of the year at the 2010 EDF Energy East of England Media Awards.
Rival publisher Archant also has a newspaper in the Essex town – the paid for Romford Recorder which has a cover price of 70p.
Editorial director of Northcliffe South East, Alan Geere, said: “Demand from readers and advertisers in the Romford area wanting a piece of the action with the award-winning Brentwood Gazette has been so high that launching a new edition was the obvious way to go.
“It will be freely available in supermarkets and at railway stations from and already feedback from the community has been very positive. There is a clearly a need for an honest, straightforward, campaigning newspaper that truly reflects its community.”
The first edition of the Romford Gazette carries a front page splash about a sex beast who was jailed 20 years after attacking a teenager who police had tracked down through a DNA blood sample.
It also features an interview with Richard Madely who was born in Romford and is now backing a local hospice campaign.