Birmingham newspaper war: another free title launches

Birmingham’s latest newspaper war will be cranked up a notch later this week as local newspaper entrepreneur Chris Bullivant launches another title in the city.

The Birmingham Free Press is being launched on Friday as a sister title to the Birmingham Press, which was itself launched as a part-paid, part-free newspaper in April.

From the end of this week, around 60,000 copies of the new free paper will be distributed to homes in south east and south west Birmingham each week.

The move is likely to intensify the battle started earlier this year with the launch of the Birmingham Press.

That move led Trinity Mirror to roll out the Birmingham Post Lite – a free, condensed version of its weekly Post title – targeting the upmarket areas of Moseley, Edgbaston and Harborne in the south of the city with its free distribution.

Unlike the original Press, The Free Press will be a slimmer offering with no business section.

It will have fewer pages and unlike the Press, which has 40/50 per cent editorial content, the ad-to-editorial pages ratio will be weighed more heavily towards adverts.

‘The paid-for Birmingham Press is in its tenth week, and going from strength to strength,’editor Tony Lennox told Press Gazette.

‘We’ve had an excellent, positive reaction from everyone who’s seen it. Our sports coverage has been particularly praised and the arts pages.”

Lennox said he had been overwhelmed by positive feedback generated by the launch of the Press and that the appetite for printed products had been high amongst advertisers and readers.

‘It was clearly time for another newspaper in the city,’he added.

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