Medway Standard: moving to Monday to combat rival
Kent Regional Newspapers is relaunching its Tuesday Medway Standard on a Monday in response to the Kent Messenger Group’s new Medway Messenger, which is out on the same day.
The new-look, 88-page paper will be renamed The Standard, and Trinity Mirror Southern plans to make it available from mainline stations on the London line to catch commuters on their way home to the Medway towns.
KRN publishing director Peter Edwards said: “Medway is the largest group of communities in Kent and our newspapers have served these communities for more than 130 years. We are determined to be the natural place for the people of Medway to get their news. The relaunched Standard will continue to reflect their lives and their communities, with the added bonus of giving them a practical newspaper they can use to plan their week ahead.”
Diane Nicholls, editor of The Standard and the Medway News, has a content editor to help push through the changes. Nicola Jordan, who previously worked for the paper and then for Kent Today, has rejoined the staff as the paper refocuses its appeal to readers aged 24 to 40.
Jordan’s post as content editor mirrors changes elsewhere in TMS divisions, with content editors sometimes replacing editors.
Nicholls, editor for three years, said: “This is the antidote to those Monday back-to-work blues. Not only are we building on our excellent coverage of weekend sport, including Gillingham FC, but we are helping readers plan what to do for the rest of the week with a new eight-page leisure section and a whole raft of top competitions and offers.”
Jordan added: “I want it to be funny, sexy and quirky. It is a true people paper, getting to the very heart of the community and packed with top, real-life, positive, human interest stories every week.”
The paper features a new white-on-blue masthead, a My Week Ahead column written by a reader and a page of useful information including a hi-tech, seven-day weather forecast.
The sports pages will be revamped too. Coverage of the Gills will be beefed up with a column by Gillingham chairman Paul Scally and match reports from the South London clubs.
The relaunch has been overseen by KRN editor-in-chief Lesley Finlay and TMS editorial director Marc Reeves.
Apart from The Standard, KRN publishes two other newspapers in the Medway towns – the Medway News on Fridays and the Medway Adscene, free on Wednesdays.
By Jean Morgan