Oxford Journal publisher TriMedia has launched a new two-edition free weekly newspaper, the Oxfordshire Guardian.
One edition will be distributed to 17,000 homes and businesses in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse, and another 6,000 copies will be distributed in Witney, Carterton and West Oxfordshire, with a further 3,500 given to estate agents across the region.
The launch of the new title has resulted in two new editorial jobs being created, one full-time and one part-time. It comes just over two months after the company acquired Property Weekly from Tindle Newspapers, which will be distributed inside copies of the Oxfordshire Guardian following a redesign and a switch from broadsheet to tabloid format.
Trimedia was formed in 2006 when it was bought from previous owner the Milestone Group by its then managing partner and current Trimedia owner Howard Taylor. It also publishes the Basingstoke Observer.
Ric Sumner, editor of the Oxford Journal and the Oxfordshire Guardian, said that since the takeover five years ago Trimedia had redesigned its publications and got the "editorial back up to scratch", with pagination on the Journal rising from 32 pages to 48. Sumner said it had also improved distribution network and redesigned its websites.
Sumner told Press Gazette that the long-term was plan for the Journal to focus on news within the city and for the Guardian to cover the remaining areas of the county. He said: "We're looking potentially to recruit more people in the near future, but that all depends on the response. From an advertising point of view we've had a very good response – providing everything continues to go that way we might look to take some more people on board."
'I'm really pleased with what we have put together in quite a small space of time,'he added. The first edition of the Oxfordshire Guardian came out on 28 July.