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Newspaper war escalates with launch of new city weekly

An independent publisher has upped the ante in a county’s newspaper war by launching a new paid-for weekly in “direct competition” with a regional daily.

Taylor Newspapers has announced new title The Oxford Paper, which will launch next month marking the company’s debut in the paid-for market.

Taylor says the Paper, which will have an initial print run of 7,500 copies, will compete with Newsquest daily the Oxford Mail and its sister weekly the Oxford Times.

In June, Newsquest launched countywide free weekly the Oxfordshire Star days after Taylor vowed to take on regional press industry “Goliaths” with the expansion of its Oxfordshire Guardian series to cover Henley-on-Thames.

Oxford dummy

The launch of the Star was described by Taylor managing director Howard Taylor as a “counter-offensive” aimed at halting the Guardian’s expansion.

In response, a new Banbury edition of the Guardian was launched in competition with the Newsquest-owned Banbury Cake and the Johnston Press-owned Banbury Guardian.

Said Howard: “Our debut into the paid market has been prompted by Newsquest’s launch of a free county-wide newspaper the Oxfordshire Star.

“It isn’t causing us any concern at present but we can’t afford to be complacent. We have brought in additional resources and the first issue will be 64 pages.

“The feedback we have had has been extremely encouraging opening up new markets and so we are very excited to have brought our plans to fruition.”

The first edition of The Oxford Paper will be available on 12 August from 600 outlets across Oxfordshire.

Its cover price will be 60p.

5 comments

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  • July 27, 2016 at 10:11 am
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    Sorry, this front page looks exactly like the fonts, colours, use of caps and layout style from the London Evening Standard. Am I the only person to notice this?

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  • July 27, 2016 at 12:42 pm
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    You’re not the only one to notice, Pete. Identical even down to the yellow block before the subhead…

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  • July 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm
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    Too right gents. But nobody, especially the readers, are going to give a flying fig about what it looks like as long as it’s a success. And I hope it is.

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  • July 27, 2016 at 1:13 pm
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    The launch of a new paper would normally be a good thing in this day and age, obviously, but this all seems to be about rival newspaper groups launching spoilers against each other. I’ve seen this before and the new papers rarely last long, sadly.

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  • July 27, 2016 at 8:51 pm
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    Very impressive brinkmanship, but I just hope that sense is eventually seen without too many jobs being put to the sword/and existing staff being put under excessive workloads for too long.
    Someone has to lose after the squabble over a small, but fairly lucrative patch (if the news content is good and ad prices are reasonable – the winner will out)
    I wonder what the depth of the market research was before the successive launches . . .
    I am SO glad I took voluntary redundancy after 21 years as a weekly newspaper Editor – I have learned how to smile again.
    I REALLY hope those now in the `inky profession’ enjoy it, but feel that the unexpected – sometimes fun – days (when you could get out and about) and really make a change are back in the distant past.

    My goodness, WAS it fun during my career from 1972. . .

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