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News website rebrands and expands patch to cover rival territory

Lucy-Thorne-Pic-e14181386888722A regional news website is set to relaunch under a new identity with an expanded patch covering areas already served by rival titles.

Reach plc has announced Berkshire Live with go live in the coming months to replace its GetReading brand, with one new job set to be created as a result.

GetReading was set up in 2014 after Reach forerunner Trinity Mirror closed its companion print title the Reading Post, but was absorbed by the company’s nationwide hyperlocal platform InYourArea last year.

As well as existing areas covered by GetReading – including Reading, Bracknell and Wokingham – Berkshire Live will also feature news from towns such as Slough, Maidenhead and Newbury.

Slough is currently covered by Newsquest’s Slough Observer, as well as Baylis Media’s Slough and Windsor Express series.

Baylis also runs the Maidenhead Advertiser, while Newbury is currently served by the independent Newbury Weekly News.

Publisher Lucy Thorne will lead the Berkshire Live team, supported by live news reporters Hugh Fort and James Aldridge, while an additional live news reporter will also be recruited.

Reading Football Club coverage will continue and be brought under the Berkshire Live banner, having used Reach’s Football.London platform for the last 12 months, with Jonathan Low continuing as Reading FC reporter.

Lucy, pictured, said: “This is an exciting project for us to deliver some of the best online news and what’s on content for the whole county.

“I am looking forward to championing the whole of Berkshire while continuing to cover the towns we already serve.

“We want to reflect Berkshire’s vibrant communities and celebrate its proud people.”

Lucy will report to Ceri Gould, editor-in-chief for Reach’s South East and Cambridge titles.

The team will return to the currently unused GetReading platform later this month ahead of Berkshire Live’s official launch in the spring.

They will continue utilising tools on the InYourArea platform, which is a postcode-based news aggregation service.

Reach launched new Lancashire digital title Lancs Live earlier this month and has previously introduced countywide operations in Kent, Essex, Somerset, Gloucestershire and elsewhere across the UK.


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  • February 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Just one new member of staff in exchange for taking on three fairly large additional towns? Clearly the long-term vision is to be more like radio news – a large patch, nothing too in-depth from any one area, a few traffic reports and police appeals mixed in with some “funnies” scraped from Twitter. Just another step in the dilution of the regional media’s identity.

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  • February 18, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    why do the words “rebrand” and “relaunch” in journalism make me shudder? On reminds me of cowboys and the other a well-known ship that had an unfortunate first date with an ice maiden.

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