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Publisher restates expansion aim as new marketing arm launches

Jack EasterbrookAn independent publisher has launched a new digital marketing arm and restated its intention for expansion.

Devon-based Clear Sky Publishing has announced the launch of Clear Sky Digital Marketing, which will offer services including online public relations, web design, content marketing and search engine optimisation.

The agency will be headed up by Jack Easterbrook, who was formerly part of Archant’s concierge and marketing teams and has more recently worked at Bristol-based agency Fueld.

Jack, pictured, said: “I am delighted to be joining the Clear Sky team, working with local business and communities has long been a passion, especially supporting them through tough trading periods where digital marketing is invaluable.”

Clear Sky was launched 12 months ago by founders and owners Simon Bax, the former chairman of Archant, and Chris Coward.

It owns titles including the Torbay Weekly, North Devon Gazette, The Moorlander and Exeter Life, and has previously stated its intention to expand further this year.

Said Chris: “We have been delighted with the response to our print titles and their community focus and the response our advertisers receive.

“We now want to offer something extra to a wider audience and Jack brings that skillset into our team.

“In addition, we are always looking for potential editors and commercial staff in Devon.

“Our new web platform will be ready for release in the autumn, and we have further expansion in print and digital planned for 2023.”

In a separate move, Midland News Association owner Claverley has also announced it has been awarded two contracts by Clear Sky.

Clear Sky is now using its PCS editorial and advertising software, while the MNA is working with the publisher’s sales team on ad creation.

Chris added: “Working with PCS has been easy, and we are very pleased with how smoothly the move over to their software has been. We feel we can provide an exceptional service across our print and digital platforms.

“We knew that it would be straightforward to work with the MNA and utilise their ad creation services – they are able to allow us to offer enhanced options to our advertisers.”

The MNA already handles ad creation for Iliffe Media, which includes creating adverts from scratch as well as refreshing old adverts and building digital ads.

Steve Mills, ad creation manager at the MNA, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this contract with Clear Sky Publishing, which will see us working with weekly papers such as the North Devon Gazette, Mid Devon Weekly, Torbay Weekly and The Moorlander, as well as the Exeter magazine and Riviera magazine.

“For a while now we have created advertisements for the Iliffe Media Group, which involves their sales people submitting instructions for amendments to current running ads, as well as the creation of new adverts.

“We are also building digital adverts for Clear Sky Publishing, which is something we have done for the last few years for both MNA and Iliffe.”