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Sister weeklies to merge into single title after 34 years

Two sister weeklies are set to merge into a single title after 34 years in existence.

The Halesowen News and Dudley News will be printed as a single title, the Halesowen & Dudley News, from this week.

Owner Newsquest says the merger of the two free weeklies into what it is calling a “super title” will ensure it can continue to “celebrate the best of a proud region”.

However, both current brands will retain their own individual websites.

News of the move appeared in last week's papers

News of the move appeared in last week’s papers

The change was announced in both papers on Wednesday, with editor Stephanie Preece telling readers: “We are all really excited to be bringing you this brand new paper.

“We care passionately telling you what is going on in Dudley and Halesowen, and we know from our readers and advertisers how important our stories are to you.

“This brand new title will continue to deliver our usual high standards of journalism and ensure you know what is going on in your neighbourhood.”

Sales director Rachel Hudson added: “First published in 1985, the Halesowen News and Dudley News have always been seen as the go to news brands in the area.

“Combining the two titles and creating the new Halesowen & Dudley News ‘super’ title will ensure that we can continue to celebrate the best of a proud region; sport, entertainment, leisure, retail, property, motors, jobs and much more.”

The change is the second such regional press consolidation in the area in recent months, after the Midland News Association closed the Halesowen Chronicle in November last year.

It was among seven titles to shut when the MNA launched the five-edition Chronicle Week to serve the Black Country, with news for Halesowen now appearing in the Dudley edition of the paper.


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  • April 3, 2019 at 10:25 am

    I’ll leave the comments about short-changed readers, newspaper sales falls, Newsquest profits, jobs cuts and all to others.
    But is it just me that thinks the editor’s statement is just very badly written?

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  • April 3, 2019 at 10:48 am

    It’s never good to read of papers closing so a merger between neighbouring titles is a good compromise to be fair, it’s certainly a better alternative to closing editions altogether.
    I just wished the editor and sales director would acknowledge it for what it is, a cost saving measure and not try to pass it off as exciting and great news for the community,it isn’t but it’s a decent move to preserve a paper so I wish it well.

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  • April 3, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Not impressed by the editor’s writing. brand new? Used to tell juniors about something called tautology. ie wasting words. Just “new” would do. Brand adds nothing
    And she used brand new twice!
    While we are at it an “about” after passionately would make more sense.
    Yes, I know. Good writing does not matter in today’s journalism. But readers do notice.
    As for super title. Arrogant springs to mind.
    I hope it succeeds, because I fear it is the future for many papers.

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  • April 3, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I’m as keen as anyone not to see titles lost, but the harsh fact is that the metropolitan borough of Dudley has been somewhat fortunate so far in retaining not just two but three weekly Newsquest freesheet editions within it – the third being the Stourbridge News. They already share all resources (the only office is in Stourbridge) and some content. It was only a matter of time before some not entirely unreasonable consolidation came along.

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  • April 3, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Oh and by the way RedundantHack, look closely and you’ll see that what is reproduced in the article above is not a horrible front page but a horrible promo on page 3.

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  • April 3, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Merging papers is never a good move however I agree it’s far better to consolidate titles than close them altogether.
    I also feel other publishers will adopt this strategy too, some titles where I am sell so few copies as to be permanently on a cliff edge about to go over surrounded by neighbouring papers also clinging on, they can’t carry on with dwindling readerships so something needs to be done, this is as good a plan as any and is better than seeing long standing papers close.

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