Jon Saxon used the return from a winning bet on 33-1 outsider Neptune Collonges in 2012 to fund a magazine about British pubs called Doghouse.
Now he has come up with the idea of launching the bi-monthly Ludlow Ledger in the ancient town famed for a nice castle, food festival and title of ‘gourmet capital of country’.
The former magazine journalist is convinced his novice freesheet has plenty of legs in its printed form and plans to take it monthly in the New Year.
Jon, pictured, a former features editor of EMAP’s Car magazine, said: “The Ledger is definitely bucking the trend.
“While our online views are going down, the take-up of the printed version is rising sharply.
“I was reluctant to put the Ledger online anyway. Our launch edition had 700 views online, which went down to 300 for the second and only 70 for the current one,” he added.
“By comparison the first printed edition’s take-up was 61 days, 55 for the second and just 40 days for the last one.”
The 24-page paper, which is showcased by imaginative writing and engaging photography with a strong Sunday supplement feel to it, started with a dual delivery and pick-up distribution formula but is now handled exclusively by 55 retail outlets.
“There’s no question that the people of Ludlow seem to be loving this newspaper more and more – judging by the take-up figures,” said the 41-year-old.
With short stories and long cover articles of up to 3,000 words in length, Jon believes people still want a “good read” in their newspaper.
“I feel a newspaper is a way of bringing communities back together,” he added.
“And just like an old-fashioned newspaper we get proper letters, and postcards, from our readers. The publication seems to be embraced by everyone in the town,” he said.
The risk-taker in Jon saw him begin his career in journalism by accident.
Back in 1994, despite not having a driving licence, he entered a record-breaking attempt to visit all the counties of mainland Britain in the quickest time –in a competition run by Pentax and Continental Tyres.
He sat in the back of .Mk1 Golf GTI driven by a former girlfriend. He kept a diary and took pictures and his story featured in by-lined piece in VW Motoring.
It fired his imagination and he went back to study a media degree at Worcester College. He went from music journalist to motoring content provider for Yahoo, features editor for EMAP’s Car magazine, to New York and Toronto as North American correspondent for The Golf and then editor-in-chief for evo in the United Arab Emirates.