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Weeklies’ websites to merge as publisher aims to expand into rival territory

Three weekly newspapers’ websites are set to merge next week in a move which will see a new countywide platform covering areas traditionally served by rival publishers.

Trinity Mirror, now Reach plc, announced earlier this year that the sites of the Crewe Chronicle, Chester Chronicle and Macclesfield Express would be replaced by a single online title called Cheshire Live as part of a nationwide introduction of the new ‘Live’ online rebranding undertaken by most of its regional titles.

Cheshire Live is now set to go live on Thursday 13 September, and Reach has announced changes to its editorial structure in the county at the same time.

Frances Barrett, currently content editor at the Chester Chronicle, will become publisher of Cheshire Live, while Michael Green, who edits the Chester and Crewe Chronicles, will become print editor for Cheshire.

Express editor Gareth Tidman has been promoted to the role of print publishing editor (weeklies) at Reach’s new regional production hub in Manchester, carrying responsibility for all of its Manchester weekly titles.

A piece announcing the changes states the company is “expanding to become a county-wide digital news service, with Cheshire Live becoming the “home of news” from towns including Warrington, Knutsford, Wilmslow, Congleton, Runcorn and Widnes.

Warrington, Knutsford and Wilmslow have their own Newsquest-owned weekly titles while Congleton is served by the independently-owned Congleton Chronicle.

The Chester Chronicle Facebook page will become the main Cheshire Live platform on the social media site. The company will retain the Crewe, Macclesfield and Ellesmere Port pages but they will undergo a name change so as to reflect their association with Cheshire Live.

The piece adds: “The Chester Chronicle, Crewe Chronicle and Macclesfield Express newspapers will still be published weekly – and they will just get better.

“Everything you have come to expect from these titles will remain, but we’ll be freshening up the content to reflect more of what our readers want and expect in 2018.”

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  • September 6, 2018 at 8:16 am

    You know you’re getting old when publishers all get younger.
    A sign of the times but still but never ceases to amaze me nevertheless.

    Good luck to this young lady in her new role

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