A trio of new paid-for newspapers are to be launched in three Northamptonshire towns in competition with established Johnston Press titles.
Extra Newspapers is launching fortnightly titles in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough next month, with further launches planned in the South East and Lancashire.
The papers will be designed to appeal to what the company is calling a “younger, digital savvy readership” and will have a start-up circulation of 10,500.
Each title will have a cover price of 50p – but in an inversion of the usual advertising-led business model, recruitment advertising will be offered free of charge.
Managing director Stuart Parker said the editorial content would be “wholly dedicated to hyperlocal news.”
“For example – Corby, a town of 55,000 people had until now no newspaper to call its own. The Corby Extra will give Corby what it wants most of all and that’s a voice across the community,” he said.
“We intend to truly support local business and free recruitment ads are something our research flagged up.
“With the gradual shift in recent years to high advertising rates, the regional press has made it almost impossible for small businesses to communicate effectively with their target audiences and Extra will also be providing value for money advertising rates, so that businesses can quite simply afford to advertise and communicate.”
The three Northamptonshire titles will be edited by Judith Halliday, a former Derby Telegraph journalist now based in the area.
Said Judith: “The local community will be at the heart of each publication. We are committed to bringing positive, good news to communities that have previously been left feeling they no longer have a way of finding out what is going on around them.
“Circulation areas will be tight and the news content hyper-local. Extra aims to prove that small and local can be beautiful.
“We will be right there on the corner with the local community – watching, reporting and sharing all the news.”
The Kettering-based Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, owned by JP, currently circulates in both Wellingborough and Corby.
As well as the daily title, JP also publishes a series of weeklies in the area under the Citizen brand.