Former Grimsby Telegraph deputy editor Nigel Lowther is confident that despite difficult market conditions in the regional press, his new weekly paper for Cleethorpes will thrive.
Lowther and former managing director at Grimsby and Scunthorpe Newspapers Mark Webb launch the Cleethorpes Chronicle next week which is in part a revival of the 19th century Cleethorpes Chronicle and Visitors’ List, published between 1892 and 1894.
Talking about the current climate in which circulations are in decline during an advertising downturn, Lowther told Press Gazette: ‘We take all those points on board, but we have been overwhelmed by the response by readers and advertisers.
‘We are confident; we have looked at the figures and we don’t need the profit-to-turnover figures of the big regional publishers.
‘We’ve got a traditional office right in the heart of Cleethorpes and we are going to produce a very strong editorially led product that we think will sell. We won’t have a website to begin with; we want to give the newspaper a shelf life rather than giving it away for free.”
The launch of the paper in Cleethorpes will create nine full-time positions, five of which will be in editorial. It will print 20,000 in the first issue then will go down to 10,000.
The Chronicle, funded independently by Lowther and Webb, will be available every Thursday from newsagents at 45p from 20 March.
Lowther said: ‘It’s an opportunity that was too good to turn down. Mark, like myself, has 20 years of local, regional and national newspaper experience.
‘To have two local people and there’s a clearly defined local market that has not had a weekly newspaper for nearly 30 years, then if we get the content right then the advertising will follow.”