Lockwood brings forward weekly's expansion plans

Plans for more editions of the Dewsbury & District Press, the new weekly newspaper launched by former Regional Independent Media editor Danny Lockwood, are being brought forward.

Lockwood said he needs one or two key individuals in place to allow him to take the next step in a short-term development plan.

While he had been thinking of more launches in six months’ time, it was likely now to happen "much quicker".

The Press, a part paid-for, part free paper, will publish its fifth edition this week. It covers an area where RIM’s Dewsbury Reporter, once edited by Lockwood and soon to be owned by Johnston Press, has nine editions.

Lockwood’s strategy, he said, was to have a regional-type newspaper covering serious rather than parochial issues.

"We recognised that there was a need for a broader-interest newspaper," he said. "We are so different from the Reporter group. That is the reason why I thought there was room for us in the marketplace."

He accused the Reporter of being so parochial that it forced people to buy different editions for places just two or three miles apart. "We are providing news, sport and features from the entire area. We are not competing with the Reporter on the parish pump level. We can’t be as good as them on that. But we are carrying what we call "grown-up news" – serious campaign issues, hot local issues. There are a dozen kids a year minimum dying from heroin overdoses on this patch."

He has calculated that two-thirds of the 180,000 people in the paper’s 10-mile circulation area do not buy a local paper. So he reckons that the Press does not need to take a single sale from the Reporter.

But Lockwood will not disclose his print run or sales of the Press, which launched on 9 March, for competitive reasons.

Two long-term Reporter staff have joined him – Adele Latham is his office manager and Janet Black his senior advertising executive.

He has five full- and part-time journalists. His news editor is Martin Shaw, who runs the West Riding News Agency, and Shaw’s staff also work for the Press. All the journalists do their own digital photography.

Lockwood is both publisher and editor of the weekly, which is printed by Huddersfield Examiner presses. It is on sale for four days and then target distributed free.

By Jean Morgan

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