Danny Lockwood: "no poaching"
Former Regional Independent Newspapers editor Danny Lockwood will launch his weekly paid-for newspaper, the Dewsbury & District Press, later this month. He claims it will be the first newspaper where journalists are on a performance-related bonus.
"We’re paying competitive wages for our marketplace, but every member of staff is also on a bonus scheme, plus end of year profit-sharing, Lockwood told Press Gazette.
"I believe that for a paper to work, everyone in the business has to be sharing in the success.
"We’re contracting a lot of our bread and butter news from the West Riding News Service and its owner Martin Shaw.
"Obviously, we’re being a little bit coy about some of our launch details and sales strategies, but we’re hitting the streets in March. Because of the response from advertisers we’ve already had to increase colour and pagination."
Lockwood said he has been inundated with job applications, but all the "critical" appointments he has made made so far are ex-colleagues in RIM.
"None of them in editorial, though I’ve had some tentative job inquries. I can say with hand on heart that there has been absolutely no poaching," he said.
The new tabloid’s production will depend on Adobe’s InDesign 2. Much of the production work will be done with Lockwood’s existing Quark licences, but InDesign imports Quark pages seamlessly, he said.
"Style-wise, I was interested to see in last week’s Press Gazette that Roger Borrell at Birmingham is going for Impact and Helvetica. I thought someone must have shown him my dummies, which cost closer to £1 than the £1m Trinity Mirror is spending on its relaunch.
"We’re going with an Impact masthead and Helvetica Neue Condensed, plus Nimrod and Helvetica body."
Lockwood said there was a buzz around his new offices – 4,000 square feet in the heart of Dewsbury – and that the staff were excited at the response from everyone who hears about the launch.
Lockwood intends the Press to be the start of a chain of newspapers.
"Some of the calls offering support from around the industry have been both surprising and hugely encouraging. I believe we’ll really set a new standard in weekly newspapers with the Press – and, as Bamber Gascoigne would have said, it’s just a "starter for 10", he said.
By Jean Morgan