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Publisher revives weekly series and expands onto rival’s former patch

A series of free weekly newspapers which suspended publication last year due to the 2nd national lockdown has returned with a new edition covering a rival’s former patch.

The Midland News Association has announced the launch of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Chronicle as part of its Chronicle Week series of free papers, which have hit the streets again for the first time since November.

The launch of the new title comes after Reach plc closed the Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer in August last year.

Among those involved with the launch of the Chronicle is Gary Phelps, who was editor-in-chief of six of Reach forerunner Trinity Mirror’s West Midlands titles, including the Observer, before stepping down in 2018 as part of a series of cuts by the publisher.


Gary will write a weekly column for the Chronicle and is joined by former Observer sports editor Marr Panter, who will work a as reporter.

The Sutton Coldfield edition will be distributed to more than 24,000 homes across the area.

Last year Chronicle Week, dubbed “the UK’s biggest free weekly newspaper”, had publication suspended by the MNA due to the coronavirus pandemic.

HTFP has approached the company for more information on the title’s launch.