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Editor shares desire to expand as city news site hits 1,000 paying readers

Dan Hayes 2022The editor of a city news title has shared his desire to expand after reaching a subscription milestone.

Dan Hayes has revealed he hopes to take on a journalist in 2023 after the Sheffield Tribune notched up its one thousandth paying subscriber.

Dan, pictured, launched the Tribune last summer after leaving Sheffield daily The Star.

He is currently the online-only title’s sole permanent member of staff, although he receives support from journalists at sister website the Manchester Mill.

Speaking to HTFP, Dan said: “When I left my job at The Star in May 2021 to launch the Tribune it was a bit of a leap in the dark.

“A similar idea had worked for Joshi [Herrmann, Manchester Mill founder] in Manchester, but we had no idea at the time that it would take off in Sheffield too.

“However, from the very beginning people really liked what we were doing and when we launched our subscription service enough of them were prepared to pay for it to give us confidence we were onto something.

“Since then we’ve seen really steady growth in membership, and even a bit of an uptick in the last few months of 2022.

“Reaching 1,000 after less than 18 months shows that the belief that Joshi and I had that people would be prepared to pay for high-quality local news in Sheffield has really paid off.

“It feels great to be part of a local news success story.”

Dan initially took on trainee journalist Andrew Dowdeswell for the Tribune’s launch, but he has since left and now works for PA’s RADAR AI data unit.

The subscription milestone comes after the Mill revealed in November that it had started turning a profit two years after launching.

Dan added: “In terms of future plans, we’re hopeful that this year we might be able to add another staff member, but we probably need a few hundred more members before we can do that.

“And we also want to take on more ambitious stories and in investigations.
“With just one member of staff that’s been really difficult, even with help from freelancers.

“Hopefully in 2023 we can start spending weeks and months on major stories and produce more of the kind of journalism our sister title the Mill has in Manchester.”