New weekly paper launches in Oxford as Taylor Newspapers takes on Newsquest in paid-for market

The launch edition of The Oxford Paper

The Oxford Paper is claimed to be the first new paid-for newspaper to launch in Oxfordshire in 80 years as independent publisher Taylor Newspapers takes on publishing giant Newsquest.

The new weekly is set to be the first paid-for title from Taylor Newspapers and will compete directly with Newsquest titles The Oxford Times and Oxford Mail when it launches on 12 August.

Managing director Howard Taylor confirmed the new title was a direct response to Newsquest’s decision to launch free regional newspaper The Oxfordshire Star last month.

The American-owned publisher had only sold paid-for titles in the region up until that point.

“It may sound as if we are coming over as aggressive but we think this latest move by Newsquest is a challenge to us directly,” Taylor told Press Gazette at the time.

“We aren’t going to lie down and take it – we are going to fight it as much as we can.”

In a statement issued today, Taylor said the Star “isn’t causing us any concern at present but we can’t afford to be complacent”.

The Oxford Paper will launch with a cover price of 60p. It will have an initial print run of 7,500 copies and will be sold in some 600 outlets throughout the county.

Additional resources have been brought in to publish the new title with the first issue running to 64 pages.

Taylor said the group had expanded its freelance staff to cover the paper and that he was considering plans to recruit more editorial staff in future.

It said in a statement: “The feedback we have had has been extremely encouraging opening up new markets and so we are very excited to have brought our plans to fruition.”

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