New business weekly Crain’s Manchester Business has claimed its first major scoop after revealing that the boss of a Salford gallery is paid more than the governor of the Bank of England.
Crain’s is the first European newspaper launch for American publisher Crain Communications and has a team of nine journalists, led by editor Steve Brauner.
In its first issue the paper reported that a senior employee of Salford’s Lowry Centre, an art gallery and theatre, had earned £310,000 in the previous financial year – more than the governor of the Bank of England. Salford council pays £900,000 to the centre each year.
Brauner said: ‘Crain’s is doing very well in terms of the breadth of coverage we’re trying to achieve: we had 21 stories on our website yesterday, that’s more than what anyone else is doing in this marketplace.’
The newspaper’s website currently has around 500 unique users a day, something its management sees as a good start, but not by any means mission accomplished.
The paper started life with a joint controlled circulation and paid-for model, and on the subject of over-the-counter sales Brauner would only say that they were ‘a lot more than expected”.
Brauner said it will be some time before the paper can emulate the success of its cross-Atlantic cousin Crain’s Chicago Business which has 40,000 paid subscribers, makes more than £2.5m from its website and this year celebrates its 30th anniversary.
‘It does take a long time to build up that sort of audience, but we’re in it for the long haul,’he said.
The Lowry Centre story came from publicly available documents, as did another about higher charges for heavy goods vehicles in Manchester’s proposed congestion charge scheme.
Brauner said: ‘We couldn’t find any evidence of the congestion charge story being reported anywhere, which seems incredible really.
‘I’m not knocking the Manchester Evening News; I’m not knocking anybody. I’m just making the point that there are lots of stories that don’t get reported.
‘The general view in the city is that Crain’s has been a good thing for everyone – it’s improved the level of coverage.”