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Editor who quit job to launch new title shares ‘relief’

An editor who quit her job to start a new local news title says she was right to trust her “hunch” after its launch.

Miranda Robertson has shared her “relief” after the first edition of The West Dorset Magazine went to print last Friday.

Last month it was revealed Miranda was leaving her role as editor of The New Blackmore Vale, along with its news editor Karen Bate, to launch the Magazine.

The fortnightly free title, pictured below, launched with a print run of 20,000.

West Dorset Magazine

Speaking to HTFP, Miranda said: “The launch went even better than we could have hoped.

“Three-quarters of our 20,000 copies went to villages and towns all over the area – cafes, pubs, visitor attractions, shops and even phone boxes and church porches.

“And within a day we were getting reports many places needed more. Our social media went mad, with 25,000 people reached without us spending any money on Facebook promotions.

“I think it’s fair to say people are welcoming The West Dorset Magazine with open arms.”

Miranda and Karen, both former Newsquest journalists, put £10,000 each into The Magazine’s launch together with two unnamed investors who provided a further £10,000.

Other members of the title’s launch time include Nick Horton, former chief sub-editor of the Dorset Echo, and Steve Keenan, former deputy travel editor of The Times and online travel editor of The Sunday Times.

Nick and Steve also previously worked on The New Blackmore Vale, one of three new titles set up following Reach plc’s decision to close the historic Blackmore Vale Magazine.

Lloyd Armishaw, owner of The New Blackmore Vale’s publisher The Blackmore Vale Ltd, has since touted launching against his former staff on their new patch.

Miranda told HTFP: “I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know our hunch was correct.

“We’ve never set up a business before, so it’s been a steep learning curve. Every time we actually sit down and write a story and step away from endless admin it feels like a treat!

“We’ve been lucky enough to keep costs to a minimum, thanks to our contacts in the industry and keeping the team small, but devastatingly effective, and so we are hopeful we can make a real success of it.

“Edition two is already shaping up to be a corker and we’re really enjoying doing what we love, independently.”