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Regional magazine closes after 22 years in business

A regional interest magazine has closed after 22 years in business.

Four Shires, which is based in Banbury, has announced it has “ceased to trade”, with the January 2020 issue being its last.

The monthly title was first published as ‘Banbury Fare’ in October 1997, but changed its name in May the following year.

Despite the name it actually circulated across parts of five counties – Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire – collectively known as the ‘Heart of England.’

Four Shires

The magazine was edited by Jeremy Wilton, whose father Graham, founder of the Banbury Cake newspaper, was also involved in its running prior to his death in 2007.

Jeremy is listed in the magazine as one of 11 members of the Four Shires team. HTFP has approached the title for clarification on how many jobs are affected by the closure.

In a statement, the magazine said: “We regret to inform you that Four Shires Magazine has ceased to trade. The January 2020 issue will be the last magazine to be published by Four Shires.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued interest in Four Shires Magazine.”


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  • January 27, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Such a shame but a cracking front page picture to go out on.

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  • January 27, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Not the first in recent weeks unfortunately. Optima magazine that went out to 40k+ homes in Herts and Middlesex ceased publication recently to. Terrible news for all involved in these publications and I wish everyone the best going forward.

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  • January 27, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Great shame to hear of this closure.
    Regional and specialist magazines appear to be where the real talent is these days, many are relatively profitable too commanding high yielding premium ad rates by delivering a high quality product to a specific and targeted demographic group.
    Focused and wholly relevant content, usually unique to the title, some super professional photography,respected and knowledgeable columnists, great design and good use of social media platforms to feature and promote the content are all part and parcel of the best of the regional groups county magazines.
    All are disciplines and staples which used to be the basis of any local daily of weekly news paper and all are strengths largely unused as the perpetual chase to make online news pay continues.

    Maybe those responsible for content across the industry should take a leaf from the magazine publishers and editors and adopt these principles in newsprint or online rather than irrelevant generic content or social media lifted old news which may well be attracting casual clicks but is failing to deliver revenue.
    I genuinely believe a simplified and clearly focussed approach aimed at appealing to the end user would bring substantial and sustainable results

    Good luck and good fortune to all those affected by this closure.

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  • January 28, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    Sad news

    Regional county lifestyle magazines still sell in decent numbers drawing in readers who know they’ll get exactly what they paid for and appealing to high end advertisers prepared to pay good money to reach a predetermined targeted audience.
    They succeed because they’ve stuck to the simple brief of specific content and by producing great looking publications.
    Newspaper editors could learn a lot.

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