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Daily returns as digital-only venture less than six months after closure

A regional daily which ceased publication last year has returned as an online-only news service.

The Oldham Chronicle’s revamped website went live this morning, less than six months after it last appeared in print.

A total of 49 staff lost their jobs after its parent company, Hirst, Kidd and Rennie Ltd, went into administration in August 2017.

However, a number of former Chronicle journalists have since been taken on by new owner Credible Media.

Simon Smedley, who spent five years with the Chronicle prior to its demise, has been given a brief of collating and editing content for the new site.

There has so far been no word from the new owners on when a print edition might return.

Chron back

The town’s MPs have led the welcomes for the new online-only version.

Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon said: “The Chronicle is re-establishing itself and getting out there in a more modern way, and I think people will really welcome that.

“Just think about what the media is there for. It’s there to keep people informed and to share information, but it’s also there to hold to people to account, and to be a voice for its community.

“What we’re seeing incrementally with the demise of local and regional newspapers is that national newspapers just haven’t got the time to cover the communities that are spread around the UK. That disconnect is very real.

“Hopefully, though, with the re-establishment of the Chronicle, it can absolutely be part of the community. It can also have that really important role in our democracy.”

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams added: “The Chron has been the voice of Oldham for over 160 years so it’s great that the title is adapting to a new online format.

“I wish the team every success as they start a new chapter in the Chron’s history. Here’s to the next 160 years.”