Two sister weeklies have merged into a single print product covering their neighbouring patches.
The paper retains separate editions for each patch featuring a localised front page and sports coverage, and is either known as the ‘Walsall Advertiser incorporating the Great Barr Observer’ or ‘the Great Barr Observer incorporating the Walsall Advertiser’ depending on where it is distributed.
The Advertiser and Observer have also retained their own websites and social media channels following the changes.
The first edition of the newly-merged title came out last week. No jobs have been affected as a result of the move.
Editor Gary Phelps, who was also in charge of both papers prior to the merger, told readers: “We’ve united the Walsall Advertiser and Great Barr Observer into one bigger, better and improved product covering the remarkable, unique area where Birmingham meets the Black Country.
“Inside your new weekly paper you will find news, sport and community coverage from across the Great Barr and Walsall areas, providing both hyper-local news and coverage of issues that link these two vibrant areas.
“Each week we’ll carefully pick the most interesting stories that have happened across the area, giving you a great read. And, what’s more, each area will continue to get a bespoke version of the paper, with Great Barr readers getting a local front page, and Walsall readers getting a Walsall front page.”
He added that Walsall sport coverage will be focused on the fortunes of Walsall Football Club, while grass-roots coverage will prevail in Great Barr.
Added Gary: “We hope you share our excitement at the potential of this new newspaper, which creates an improved product by bringing together two much-loved brands.
“There’s nowhere else on earth quite like Walsall and Great Barr. We believe that by marrying these two much-loved newspapers we have created a weekly read that does our area proud.”