In an ever-evolving industry, 2022 proved to be yet another year of change when it came to the newspapers and websites from which we get our news.
In contrast to the previous year, the past 12 months have unfortunately been characterised by closures – both of historic local newspapers and some more recent projects.
In 2021, HTFP reported on the launch of more than two dozen local newspapers and websites. This year, it was just six.
Two of that half-dozen came in Leicester, where both the Leicester Times and the Great Central Gazette have sought to break established Reach plc daily the Leicester Mercury’s long-held monopoly in the city.
The remaining four launches all involved former employees of Archant, which was taken over by fellow regional publisher Newsquest at the start of 2022.
In the West Country, former Archant chairman Simon Bax’s Clear Sky Publishing continued its expansion with the launch of the Mid Devon Weekly, while Blackmore Vale Ltd hired Paul Jones, who was group editor for Archant in the South-West, as editor-in-chief when it set up the Salisbury & Avon Gazette.
Tom Bristow, former investigations editor at Archant, launched investigative website the Norwich Seeker, while editor John Elworthy unveiled his new venture Cambs News just days after leaving the Cambs Times, Ely Standard and Wisbech Standard.
John had been made redundant by Archant following the takeover by Newsquest, which had decided to take both the Times and Wisbech Standard digital-only in the wake of the deal.
The takeover also prompted the closure of the Diss Mercury, Thetford and Watton Times, West Suffolk Mercury and Felixstowe Extra.
During the year, Newsquest also decided to close The National Wales, a primarily digital title that also ran a regular print edition for some of its brief existence, after 18 months.
The National Wales wasn’t the only short-lived Welsh product to fall by the wayside in 2022, with Reach plc axing a Newport edition of the Western Mail a year after it was launched.
Around the same time, Reach confirmed the closure of the Neath and Port Talbot edition of the South Wales Evening Post, as well as both the Nuneaton and Warwickshire editions of the Coventry Telegraph.
The Manchester Weekly News, dubbed “Britain’s biggest” weekly paper at the time of its launch by Reach’s forerunner Trinity Mirror, also ceased publication in the summer.
And the closure of Portsmouth’s Sports Mail, the country’s last-remaining Saturday sports paper, blew the final whistle on a “British institution” dating back more than a century.
Sports Mail’s publisher National World also called time on the print runs of the Ballymena Times, Banbridge Leader and Brighton Indy during 2022.
Independent publishers to announce their closures this year included Champion Newspapers, which published Southport & Formby, North Liverpool and West Lancashire editions, and the Downs Mail, which circulated in the Maidstone and Malling area of North Kent.
Here is the full list of titles that either came or went in 2022, with links to our original coverage.