Newsquest launches second free weekly Argus edition to compete with Johnston Press titles in Sussex

Newsquest has launched a new free edition of its daily Brighton title The Argus, covering the Sussex towns of Lewes, Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven, in direct competition with Johnston Press.

The Lewes & South Coast Argus is the second free weekly edition of  The Argus to launch this year, with the Mid Sussex Argus unveiled on 19 January.

Johnston Press publishes paid-for weeklies the Sussex Express, covering Lewes, the Eastbourne Herald, which includes news from Newhaven and Peacehaven, as well as the weekly Seaford Herald.

In May 2015, Johnston Press acquired free weekly the Brighton & Hove Independent which competes for city readers and advertising with Newsquest’s Argus.

The Lewes & South Coast Argus will be published every Thursday and launched with a 48-page edition last week.

No additional staff have been recruited for the title, which has a circulation of 8,000 copies per week via pick up.

Newsquest said the new edition represented “a real statement of intent from The Argus team”.

Together with the Mid Sussex Argus it replaces Newsquest’s free Leader series in Sussex, which comprised three titles.

Managing director of Newsquest Sussex, Tony Portelli, added: “This new title follows our ongoing strategy of placing the iconic Argus brand and design at the heart of our publishing strategy.

“Combined with our incredible online audience, both new Argus titles offer incredible penetration of their respective markets.”

In August last year, Newsquest closed free weekly The Eastbourne Independent less than a year after its launch.

The Argus has gone through two changes of editor in as many months. Arron Hendy was appointed to the role last week following the departure of Lucy Pearce within a month of taking over from Mike Gilson.

The Argus has a total average daily circulation of 11,424 copies, according ABC figures to June last year.

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