'Good old-fashioned newspaper turf war' kicks off in Gloucestershire

A “good old-fashioned newspaper turf war” is set to erupt in Gloucestershire between regional stalwart Tindle Newspapers and newcomers Local World.

It comes after Local World – a joint venture between former publishers Northcliffe Media and Iliffe News, and Trinity Mirror – last week launched a weekly edition of its daily title the Gloucester Citizen in the Forest of Dean.

The Forest Citizen is in direct competition with Tindle’s weekly The Forester – which Northcliffe sold to its rival in 2010 – and with a 50p cover price is 10p cheaper than its rival.  

In response Tindle is to launch a new weekly paper in Gloucester this week called the Gloucester Review with a print run of 10,000.

The Forest Citizen will come out every Wednesday – prompting Tindle to also bring forward its publication date to the same day. It previously came out on Thursdays.

University of Gloucestershire journalism lecturer Rob Brown told the BBC: “It's very heartening for someone like me, teaching the next generation of journalists, to see a good old-fashioned newspaper turf war erupting here in Gloucestershire.

"The Forest of Dean in particular is quite unusual because it is still awaiting high-speed broadband, so that is probably why the battle for local attention there is taking place on the news stands rather than up in cyber space where we see a lot of hyper-local news battles breaking out.”

The managing director of The Forester Attracta Astley commented: “Just over two years ago the Gloucester Citizen sold us The Forester in the Forest of Dean, yet they launched a new weekly paper in direct competition with it last week.

“As you would expect, the Forester and its sister paper The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review are hitting back.

“We're launching a new weekly free newspaper in Gloucester this week in direct competition with The Citizen."

The latest Tindle launch comes after the company reported a huge surge in profits in the 2012 financial year, with operating profit up 40 per cent to £1.78m and profit-before tax up 60 per cent to £2m, despite a 5 per cent fall in revenue to £36m.

Sir Ray told Press Gazette last month the company will continue to its policy of acquisitions and new launches this year.

Local World chairman David Montgomery, the former chief exexcutive of Trinity, has previously spoken of his desire to 'resuscitate' the regional press.

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