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Entrepreneur hires local journalism stalwarts to launch new print title

Nick MarrA blogger-turned-publisher has hired four regional journalism stalwarts to launch a new local newspaper.

My Wokingham, which was initially launched by Nick Marr last year as a blog to promote charities on the patch, is set to go to print for the first time in May.

For the launch, he has recruited an experienced foursome steeped in local newspapers in Berkshire.

They are Jacqueline Hayler, a former deputy editor at both the Bracknell News and Henley Standard, head photographer Paul King, who started his career at the Windsor Express, Phil Gee, a Radio Berkshire presenter and Andrew Batt, a popular Berkshire sports photographer.

The monthly title will have an initial circulation of 25,000 and will compete with the independent weekly Wokingham Today, as well as Newsquest’s Bracknell News, which also covers the Berkshire town.

Nick, pictured, is best known for his work in the property sector and has served as chief marketing officer for companies in the UK, Europe and the USA.

Explaining his decision to expand into print, Nick said: “When we attended events, the public consistently requested to see their photos in print.

“It’s clear that print still holds a special place and coverage in print is regarded as more impactive than online.”

Nick added the editorial ethos of the newspaper will be “picture heavy and to celebrate the Wokingham Borough”.

The 32-page tabloid will be free to readers and delivered directly into homes in the borough.

It will be available at all major supermarkets and a network of community and business distribution points.

After running a sample print edition in March, the title will officially launch with a souvenir Coronation edition in May.

Wokingham was traditionally served by Trinity Mirror’s Wokingham Times prior to its closure in 2014.

The move prompted former Times staffer Phil Creighton to launch The Wokingham Paper, now rebranded as Wokingham Today, the following year.