The boss of the new Local World newspaper company has said local publishers will be handling a “20-fold increase” in content – much of it generated by the community.
David Montgomery, who chairs the new consortium made up of regional publishers Northcliffe Media and Iliffe News and Media, says he wants to turn local publishers into a one-stop-shop for local content.
Speaking of his vision for the company, he said the job of the modern editor would be “broader” than at present and claimed that the “old news agenda dictated by news editors the length and breadth of newspapers” is no longer relevant.
His comments came in an interview with veteran media pundit Ray Snoddy, published in industry magazine In Publishing.
Former Mirror Group boss David said that the most significant shift the industry needed to make was that local publishers need to be prepared to handle “lots of content that comes from the community itself,”
“It’s about getting people to organise themselves sufficiently to manage the amount of content a local publisher exploits. Not a two fold increase but a 20-fold increase,” he said.
In the interview, he said the title of editor would survive but the role would become “broader and more comprehensive.”
“The modern editor will be the content director, managing content, organising content and disseminating it on the appropriate platform; print, online or mobile,” he added.
David reiterated his determination to leave behind what he called the “industrial baggage” of the industry and start with “a clean sheet of paper.”
“Our starting point in Local World is we have no presses whatsoever and ultimately, our ambition is to be a pure content and commerce business and that once a year, we write a cheque to a provider of all the services you need to continue to produce print,” he said.
Local World was formed in November when DMGT agreed to sell Northcliffe to the new consortium for £52.5m plus 38.7pc of the shares. Iliffe’s former parent company Yattendon owns a 21.3pc stake and Trinity Mirror 20pc.
The Office for Fair Trading has announced it is to look into the deal, but chief executive Steve Auckland has said he is confident of addressing any concerns.