By Jon Slattery
An axed Northcliffe journalist is using his pay-off to fund the launch of a new weekly in his old company’s heartland.
Stan Szecowka was given just 10 minutes to clear his desk when he
lost his job as deputy editor of the Bristol Evening Post in June. He
was a casualty of Northcliffe’s staff shake-up that saw Evening Post
editor Mike Lowe’s sudden departure.
Now he is reviving an old
newspaper title in the Clifton area of Bristol. The Clifton Chronicle,
which launched in 1850, but folded in 1928 due to a newsprint shortage,
is primed to return on 3 November.
Szecowka, who had a 20-year
career on Northcliffe titles, said: “When Northcliffe axed me they gave
me a pay-off. Now I am using Lord Rothermere’s money to take on his
army of products.”
He said: “The Chronicle isn’t just a new
title. It has got nostalgia. It launched in the 19th century, closed in
the 20th century and now I am bringing it back in the 21st century.
“No-one reads the Evening Post in Clifton, and there is a market for a good local paper.”
re-born Chronicle will have a print run of 10,000 and a cover price of
60p with five per cent of the price being donated to Clifton British
Legion and Rotary Club.
The British Legion is helping to pro-vide the fledgling weekly with offices in the Clifton area.
up for the new paper are a host of columnists as well as a local MP and
a former Clifton resident who now lives in Spain Szecowka has recruited
freelance Steven Bond to the launch. The Chronicle is being distributed
by News International.
Among its unique features will be a page in Polish for the large Polish community in Bristol.
will also be two pages of articles and pictures from the old Chronicle
provided from the British Newspaper Library archives.
added: “When I lost my job I went into shock for two weeks. But then I
read in Press Gazette a story about someone who was launching their own
paper and I thought ‘that’s just what I want to do’. The difficult
thing has been setting up my own company, but I have had lots of help.
bit of advice I’ve had is not to have a launch party, but save the
money for a celebration on the first anniversary of the business.”