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Weekly to go daily from next month after editorial expansion

Steve ThompsonA weekly newspaper is set to go daily from next month after taking on three new journalists.

Newsquest has announced the Oldham Times will be published six-days-a-week from 4 January 2021 – returning a daily print title to Oldham for the first time in three years.

The Times was launched by Newsquest in September 2017 after the Oldham Chronicle, the town’s previous daily newspaper, ceased publication when its parent company, Hirst, Kidd and Rennie Ltd, went into administration the month before.

The Chronicle has since been revived as an online-only title, with new owner Credible Media reiterating plans in October to return it to print.

The move of the Times from weekly to daily was announced in a trade notice issued to the Federation of Independent Retailers by Newsquest this morning.

In the notice, Chris Strong, Newsquest North Wales & North West’s newspaper sales manager, revealed the Times had added a crime and court reporter, community content editor and a local trainee reporter ahead of the launch.

Chris said: “I’m confident you will be pleased with this announcement in terms of potential increased sale and footfall in your outlet(s) and ultimately giving readers back a six-days-a-week daily newspaper, all about their Oldham.

“Editorially, we have expanded the team, adding a crime and court reporter and a community content editor, as well as giving an opportunity to a local trainee reporter fresh out of a journalism course. We will be striving to serve Oldham with even more news, features and sport in the coming months.

“The new daily paper will feature a new roster of supplements during the week, including a food and drink guide and a homes and interiors pull-out, as well as a bigger better seven-day TV guide every Saturday.

“The title will also feature coverage of Oldham Athletic AFC and Oldham RLFC.”

The daily Times will have a cover price of 70p, Monday to Saturday.

Editorial responsibility for the title falls under the remit of Steve Thompson in his role as Newsquest’s regional editor for Lancashire/Greater Manchester.

Steve, pictured, said: “Times have been tough in local journalism during the pandemic so this show of confidence in such a new title is great to see.

“We have expanded the current Oldham news team by investing in more professional journalists. This includes a new crime and court reporter, a new local news reporter as well as a community news editor dedicated to the Oldham area.

“We will be striving to serve Oldham with even more news, features and sport in the months to come.”

The move has also been welcomed by Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding.

He said: “Local newspapers have an important role in holding local decision makers to account.

“Whilst the gap left by the demise of the Chronicle was partially filled by the weekly Oldham Times, only a daily edition can truly replace what was lost back in 2017.

“I’m pleased to see the Oldham Times taking this step.

“The paper going daily is not just good news for the Oldham Times and its readers, it is good news for the borough as a whole.”