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Regional publisher launches new pro-EU title aimed at ‘the 48pc’

A regional publisher is to launch a new weekly newspaper this Friday aimed at the 48pc of people who voted to remain in the European Union.

Archant, which publishes four regional dailies in East Anglia, is bringing out a new title specifically to cater for those it says have been “dismayed” by last month’s Brexit vote.

Called The New European and priced £2, it will initially run for four issues, with subsequent print runs being decided by reader interest.

Matt Kelly, the company’s chief content officer who will also be the title’s launch editor, said the 48pc of people who voted Remain were currently “not well served by the traditional press.”

TheNewEuropean

The company said in a press statement: “The paper will offer those feeling dismayed and disenfranchised by Brexit a non-political focal point, bringing together the extraordinarily broad spectrum of people who feel a real sense of loss after the Leave vote victory.

“Every issue will be a collector’s item. After the fourth issue, every week’s sale will be a referendum on the next.”

It said the title will be delivered to market faster than any other British newspaper in history – just nine days from concept to newsagent.

Distribution will be focused on the mainly Remain voting areas of London and the South as well as Manchester and Liverpool.

Said Matt: “We are currently in an extraordinary period of time in the UK, with all of society seemingly in a state of flux and turmoil.

“I believe the 48pc who voted to Remain are not well served by the traditional press and that there is a clear opportunity for a newspaper like The New European that people will want to read and carry like a badge of honour.

“It will be an eclectic and energetic mix of content – not just about the Brexit issue, but a celebration of why we loved Europe so much in the first place. There’ll be plenty of humour in there too – god knows we could all use a laugh these days.”

“We value expertise and have some of the world’s best brains in their areas writing for us. And it is also a politician-free zone. They are banned.”

Contributors to the first issue include James Brown, former Loaded and GQ editor, Wolfgang Blau, ex editor of Zeit Online and former digital director of The Guardian, and Simon Calver, and former CEO of Mothercare and LoveFilm

Archant chief marketing officer Will Hattam added: “This isn’t just another national newspaper, it’s a new type of publishing product.

“What’s exciting is that the story of this paper isn’t yet written – its sprung into life, driven by the events of the last few weeks, and will continue to serve its audience as long as they want it to.

“There’s no ongoing commitment, just an opportunity to explore new boundaries in newspaper publishing.”

Archant is the second regional publisher to launch a new titles to cater for those who backed the losing side in a referendum.

In 2014 Newsquest launched The National aimed at the 46pc who backed Scottish independence. It has since established itself in the Scottish newspaper market.

Update:  More from Matt Kelly here on the decision to launch the new title.

20 comments

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  • July 4, 2016 at 9:36 am
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    So…as part of Archant’s Strategy to be the best local media company by 2017 we have decided to launch a national newspaper campaigning a view almost polar opposite to our exiting [*existing – typo, I’ll leave it, it works) reader’s views.

    It should hit the shelves about the same time the public have just about had enough of it all to a target audience of almost entirely on-line yoof in an environment that is saturated with ‘expert opinion’ and ‘voice’. Personally, I’m looking forward to the poetry.

    We’re ditching “bring together communities” and going to give “dividing communities” a shot.

    We’re also going to shout loudly it cost us ‘almost nothing’ (def no photographer’s jobs) to publish so we’re going to charge £2 for it.

    Apparently, and quoting the ‘Editor’, this is an opportunity handed to us on a plate. Will it be washed down with a gulp from the chalice?

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  • July 4, 2016 at 10:15 am
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    Another piece of classic bandwagon jumping by Archant keen to grab a few desperate copy sales on the latest hot topic,however, as nelly norfolk points out not only will the bandwagon have long since passed by.
    also has matt “watch this space matey” Kelly not missed the point that people wanting a forum or to read about brexit will find all they need and more on line,not in a £2 newspaper
    “Every issue will be a collector’s item”
    not sure whether thats arrogance or wishful thinking and not sure who will be “collecting” it
    “.. Will Hattam added: “This isn’t just another national newspaper” really? what is it then? please do elaborate as i seem to have missed the point that covers innovation in the above piece

    they go on
    “…with subsequent print runs being decided by reader interest” it will be interesting to see whether its continued after its initial months run,and will thus give us a clear indication of the popularity and value of this paper so in his own words we will ” watch this space matey”

    still its good to see which side of the fence Archant are sitting on,not a good move really when 52% of the vote disagree,and heading to the north west of the uk and onto other regional press groups territory is an intersting move though,wonder what the big four with intersst in this area will make of it ,a move into archants own patch with their own “unique newspapers ” maybe
    interssting and confusing times at archant towers

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  • July 4, 2016 at 10:20 am
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    While I’m really delighted to see a newspaper publisher actually want to expand print products…I have to say I fear the worst for this extraordinary and I’ll-conceived project! What an absolutely desperate idea.

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  • July 4, 2016 at 11:02 am
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    Presumably this will be followed up by a newspaper covering the tennis at Wimbledon next month. Exciting times.

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  • July 4, 2016 at 11:05 am
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    Really? From a company that can barely manage local news this is hysterical. Except I’m not laughing. Does Archant honestly believe that anything like 48% of people in East Anglia voted Bremain? Look at the stats from the referendum. And a cover price of £2 as well – it has lots going for it then . . .

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  • July 4, 2016 at 11:48 am
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    ” delivered to market faster than any other British newspaper in history – just nine days from concept to newsagent.”
    Thrown together then

    Having given up on its local: east Anglia, tiny part of London readership ( ot vice versa to be more precise) it decides to put its toe in the water with a national launch of a paper with limited appeal in other publishers heartlands, if that’s not a suicidal declaration of war by archant then I don’t know what is!

    However I’m sure Mssrs Kelly and Hattam will take personal responsibility of this is anything less than an out and out roaring success and will accept the consequences of their actions if not
    What a foolish, pointless and desperate commercial enterprise this is, shocking

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  • July 4, 2016 at 12:28 pm
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    Barrels being scraped in a last ditch attempt at nicking copy sales albeit heading into Indian territory by encroaching on Manc and Liverpool readers but why?
    A ridiculous idea even by their standards and one that will not cover costs and wil simply alienate themselves with the other 52% and enrage those newspaper groups with titles in these areas archant are planning on smash and grabbing!
    And what about advertising? Will this be the usual friendly Norfolk advertisers who go in anything new, anything cheap or anything the rep moves them into ?

    Looks like it’s open season for JP,TM,LW et al to crash into archants back yard and steal revenue .

    Panic buttons being pressed in Norwich by Kelly and co and further losses being added to the balance sheet

    A farcical idea and one which could prove costly to them in the long run

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  • July 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm
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    Good luck to them etc, seems a strange concept all round. Probably end up being full of cheap Sunday supplement features. Stand by for 10 best cafes in Cologne etc.
    Talking of strange concepts, are there any indications of how 24 is getting on?

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  • July 4, 2016 at 1:01 pm
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    So, is this open season for rival titles to launch Pro-Exit titles in the heartland of Brexit (Norfolk and Suffolk) and treat the jaded local advertisers and readers to some new ideas?

    Their local press has ignored and abandoned them in search of a quick buck.

    There could be no complains no? this breaks the long-held boardroom handshakes over territory division?

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  • July 4, 2016 at 1:18 pm
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    what a pointless going to war move which will antagonise other regional press publishers and achieve nothing in terms of revenues,copy sales,profits or credibility,lets hope those making this latest knee jerk decision know what they`ve let themselves and Archant in for,oh and whats happened to the serving their local community slogan? or the futures digital mantra?
    a non local, non digital newspaper pitched out of their areas and to a handful of people who are unliklely to shell out £2 to buy it smacks of lip service and desepration to grab a quick buck to me.
    i would imagine print costs,delivery and distribution ( all things that are dragging profits down and costs up in the industry) will be crippling so without a considered and well thought out sales plan both in terms of copy sales and advert revenues,this is doomed to crash and burn in double quick time,however i cant believe Will hattam will have launched this without a robust commercial plan in place,if not he will have a lot to answer for,.

    and cue matthew kelly coming on here to laugh it all off via one of his “calm down,we are all good chums on here ,come up and see me sometime,nothing to see here” postings,if he`s registered with HTFP yet!

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  • July 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm
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    If Archant really felt the need to do something in light of the Brexit outcome they’d have been better using a route to unite the country instead of nailing it’s colours to the Remain mast. Further division is not a good move.

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  • July 4, 2016 at 2:42 pm
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    ‘ .. the 48pc who voted to Remain are not well served by the traditional press and that there is a clear opportunity for a newspaper like The New European that people will want to read and carry like a badge of honour.’
    Just wondering what planet this guy is on?

    So presumably archants own titles didn’t serve them well then?
    Having said that it’s clear to see archant have nailed their colours to the mast of the We love Europe/ remain camp despite saying its non political, it’s also interesting to see the old pals act with the contributors too,jobs for the boys?
    Bit of a jolly good wheeze and if no one buys it hey, at least we had a laugh and at the end of the day “ god knows we could all use a laugh these days.”

    Just seems like another costly vanity project for the company, one which will ignite hostile feelings from the Manchester,Liverpool and north west publishers and a calamity to rival Mustard tv.

    Sit back and watch it all unfold

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  • July 4, 2016 at 4:16 pm
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    The desperation and crass stupidity in the newspaper industry knows no bounds.

    There will be four issues and each issue will be a collectors item. Really? Well here’s my predictions: Nobody will be buying them, let alone collecting them and if it even makes the fourth edition I’d be very surprised.

    The whole industry is being run by nincompoops.

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  • July 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm
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    Have to admit, I am a long-standing Guardian reader and the paper has been full of brilliant Remain comment both before and after the vote by some huge, no-doubt expensive names. If Archant can match that, then good luck to them. It’s not right to suggest that Remainers have nothing to read that reflects their views. Having said that, let’s wish it luck (why wouldn’t you?) and see what happens.

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  • July 4, 2016 at 4:36 pm
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    Judging by the state of some its East of England weeklies, Archant should be making a more concerted effort to get the basics right before embarking on a project as ambitious (and, as others have pointed out, potentially divisive) as this. I can’t imagine them having the resources to do a decent job of it – rehashed agency features, anyone?

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  • July 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm
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    Oh here we go again. Does none of this management know what happened to The European launched by Maxwell back in 1990. He took on a load of staff based at The Mirror HQ in Ldn including 3 in Brussels of which I was one when I was freelancing there. Promised us the earth.
    Memory says it lasted a few years but only and mainly, it was said, because of the money that Maxwell pumped in. It was going to be daily but never got past the weekly pitch and by the time it came out most of the news was rather stale so we had to be rather “inventive” in what we were reporting – certainly from Brussels.
    The fact is that even with the Ldn based nationals they give relatively little space to what the reader perceives as “foreign” news because readers are “local” and want “local” news or national news based on what is happening in their own country.
    It would be like a paper in the south east concentrating on Scotland. Wld that sell – no.
    Apart from that the vote has been cast and like any democratically run vote the result should be respected whether we agree with it or not.
    What on earth are they going to fill their pages with to make it appear fresh on the day of publication unless it is going to act like a handkerchief for the sobbing Remain supporters.

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  • July 4, 2016 at 6:00 pm
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    The archant Norfolk weeklies are a whole subject themselves Jimbledon, crammed full of cheap looking adverts with old news used as fillers around them, they’ve lost their local readerships,flog it all off cheap on an annual deal and wonder why the bottoms fallen out of their copy sales figures.
    From being viable sources of news and local business they’ve dumbed them down to little more than ad grabbers with no real news and with at most, one days shelf life. If they’re serious about ‘content’ they ought to look here first rather than at a farcical national paper which targets losing voters.

    Having closed the Norwich free paper a few weeks ago they’d do a lot worse than scrap the other ailing weekly papers across Norfolk (which are no better or worse than the Norwich one in all honesty ) if they’re serious about making cost savings rather than waste time effort and money on this vanity project.

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  • July 4, 2016 at 8:13 pm
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    Whenever Archant comes up, Mustard TV always gets a mention. I have never been able to view it, given a relative of the Minim clan has done well in national television and has strong views on what constitutes good broadcasting. Does Mustard cut the mustard? (Hoary old subs’ joke). Anyway, Harry Blackwood is usually right and “desperation and crass stupidity” will do me in this case. Honestly.

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  • July 5, 2016 at 7:29 am
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    ” After the fourth issue, every week’s sale will be a referendum on the next.”
    Nice non comital /on the hoof exit strategy there chaps,meaning when sales (?) are in they can decide whether to exit or remain in the market and when the figures show this to be a complete waste of time and no ones interested Matt Kelly can say it was only ever a 4 week snap shot and hey we gave it a go and had a good laugh “and god knows we all need a good laugh these days dont we”

    However with Archants track record of throwing good money after bad,propping up vanity projects and pumping money into their own loss making lost causes ( yes i`m talking about you Mustard tv) then,taking a short term view and in an effort to save face they are likely to keep this thing going until the next passing quick buck bandwagon passes by so may I humbly suggest they concentrate on developing the news print or digital side of the business and pump money into or close the dire weeklies,the almost dead dailies and stick to what they are good at these days,notably asking for stories and reader photos, posting photos of sunsets and t`wildlife and leave the news paper industry to those who know how to properly serve their own local communities.

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  • July 6, 2016 at 12:53 pm
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    What do you think would be successful in the modern media landscape, Harry?

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