New KM Group title sells more than 5,000 copies

The Sittingbourne News Extra – the first-paid for newspaper launched by KM Group since 2003 – has published its first circulation figures since its launch in December.

Average circulation of the weekly title between 1 January and 31 March was 5,687, with an estimated 16,146 readers, according to the company.

KM Group announced plans to launch the new title following the closure of Northcliffe’s East Kent Gazette, one of six titles KM Group attempted to buy from the publisher before the deal collapsed when it was referred to the Competition Commission last year.

Editor Matt Ramsden said: ‘From its launch, which was achieved in just nine days, it has quickly established itself as a must read for townspeople – offering the very best in local news, sport and leisure.”

The paper, which claims to reach 33 per cent of all adults in Sittingbourne, is the first paid-for newspaper to be launched by KM Group since April 2003 when the Medway Messenger was launched to complement a local edition of the Kent Messenger.

KM Group also publishes the Sittingbourne Messenger. Reflecting the Medway offering, Sittingbourne News Extra is dedicated to local content while the Sittingbourne Messenger provides a broader mix of news from Swale, Medway, Maidstone and West Kent.

Ramsden added: ‘As with most success stories, Sittingbourne News Extra has a great team of talented and dedicated staff behind it. We’re very much looking forward to the coming months where we aim to further cement our place as Sittingbourne’s paper.”

Northcliffe announced proposals to close the East Kent Gazette and the Medway News on 25 November, resulting in the loss of up to 40 jobs.

The East Kent Gazette had an average weekly circulation of 13,975 in the first six months of this year, of which 7,804 were paid-for. The Medway News had a total circulation of 53,235 in the first six months of this year (of which 3,890 were paid for).

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