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Battle hots up in seaside town with new hyperlocal launch

The newspaper battle in a seaside town already served by two print titles has hotted up again with the launch of a new hyperlocal monthly magazine.

Worthing-based free publication Here & Now has been conceived by former Johnston Press and Newsquest advertising executive, Mike Cottee, along with his former associate Frances Wetherilt.

The town is already served by monthly paid-for the Worthing Journal, which is run by Paul Holden, editor of the now-defunct Worthing Sentinel and a former colleague of Mike’s.

The town is also served by Johnston Press weekly the Worthing Herald.


Here & Now has launched as a 40-pager on newsprint, and has a mission statement to ‘Inform, Entertain & Amuse’, and will be delivered to 30,000 homes from this week, with a further 6,000 copies available from pick-up points.

The magazine will aim to provide between 40 and 50pc of “relevant locally produced editorial content”, as well as comprehensive what’s on listings.

Said Mike: “Although I am from the commercial side of local media, I’ve always been passionate about having good editorial in any publication I am expected to sell advertising in, to me content is king.

“I was lucky enough to have bumped into an old associate at a business networking event, and to discover she was planning to set-up a new business in the publishing sector, when I was thinking exactly the same.

“Over the last couple of years, I have established a highly successful leaflet distribution business in the town, so it seemed logical to return to my roots, as I had the distribution network, so it was a perfect fit.”

The announcement comes just hours after Paul celebrated the Journal’s biggest issue to date with a 128-page bumper edition.


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  • September 26, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Good luck to Mike and Frances on this bold new venture, as long as content remains king it has every chance of success,however the 40-50 % local content seems low when one of the main problems with the established regionals is a relaince on free,RGC and irrelevant,non local pieces.
    Assuming good consistent distribution,sustainable revenues and content readers will be interested in are the cornerstones, the publication has every cance of success,its happening elsewhere and to good effect

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  • September 26, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Poor offering though it is, it is hard to see the JP weekly being hit too much by a monthly. Sussex could certainly do with a good local paper since the dramatic decline of the Newsquest and JP offerings.

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  • September 26, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    The Worthing Herald is a dire newspaper these days, very little news with staff resource stretched to the limit plus chronic underinvestment. Mike has a great chance of success with his venture – maybe it’ll go weekly in the future and finish their business off.

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  • September 26, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks David for the article, but not sure about the headline, we don’t want a battle with anyone.

    Certainly not with the excellent Worthing Journal, I have great respect for Paul and what he has achieved, we are totally different & complementary publications.

    Paul runs a high quality glossy monthly paid-for with a VERY loyal following, we’re a mass-market freebie on newsprint – although we believe we are punching above our weight for such a publication in terms of editorial content & design.

    @Employee X – distribution is guaranteed by my distribution business, unlike many of my competitors that pay less than minimum wage, I pay above living wage, so I have a very loyal & stable team. As a bonus for my clients & the advertisers in HERE & NOW, they are fully GPS-tracked ensuring the job is done.

    Frances, my excellent business partner in & editor of HERE & NOW, has spent months networking in the community to pull together a team of regular freelance contributors to ensure we can maintain delivery of good content. One is a professional journalist, some are professional writers, some are new to writing or creating crosswords, we even have a professional local cartoonist on-board – HERE & NOW is not about us, it’s a platform for the community.

    As for sustainable revenues, judging by the support in the launch edition, and the reception we are getting, we feel that shouldn’t be a problem. Our rates are a fraction of a certain local paper, and we’re putting out around 7-times+ the numbers in the town, it’s an attractive offer for local businesses.

    @paperboy – I agree totally, we’re not looking to battle with the Worthing Herald, most of our advertisers are ones that couldn’t afford to advertise with them on the cost per thousand copies, and some are ones that have pulled out of the Herald because of their declining sales, and therefore response, and have found a new home with us.

    We are about creating something totally different, providing new opportunities for readers, contributors & advertisers. It’s been an interesting journey so far, but we’ve only just left the platform. To draw a parallel with travellers on Southern Railways, we have absolutely no idea if or when we’ll get to our final destination, whatever that maybe. 😉

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