A weekly newspaper has become a broadsheet again for the first time in decades as part of a press war in a seaside town.
It comes as Newsquest prepares to launch a new weekly freesheet in the town called the Eastbourne Independent, which is set to hit the streets for the first time on Friday.
The Gazette began life as a broadsheet when it was launched in 1859 but has appeared in a tabloid format for many decades.
The Gazette is a sister title to the Eastbourne Herald, which will remain in a tabloid format.
Editor-in-chief Gary Shipton said: “I am hugely proud of what we have achieved. The Gazette looks fantastic and we’ve already received some amazing feedback.
“Of course, not everyone will immediately love the new format – and we are very happy to hear all comments.
“What is great is that we now have a clear portfolio in Eastbourne which matches the profile of this lovely town: The market-leading tabloid Eastbourne Herald, the top-end market broadsheet Gazette, the quality Etc magazine and www.eastbourneherald.co.uk website, which has the best audiences of any local digital news platform in Sussex outside Brighton.”
The cover price of the Gazette has remained at 75p and the new masthead is in line with those of sister papers the West Sussex Gazette and Horsham Gazette.
Consulting editor Keith Ridley has also been involved in the relaunch of the Gazette as a broadsheet, after leading the titles for many years in his role as editor-in-chief of JP’s East Sussex titles, which he left in February.
In a piece about the relaunch, he wrote: “The Eastbourne we love and cherish is changing for the better. Now, so too is your Gazette.
“From today, the Gazette is brought to you as a quality, broadsheet newspaper – commited to fighting Eastbourne’s corner as it has for the past 150 years and to delivering to you news and information of the highest quality.”
Newsquest’s new Eastbourne Independent, which will launch this Friday, will be edited by Peter Lindsey, a former editor of the Eastbourne Herald and Gazette who lost his job in 2009 as part of cost-cutting measures.
The launch by comes just two months after Johnston Press acquired the free weekly Brighton & Hove Independent, which runs in competition with Newquest’s city daily The Argus.