Independent Dewsbury weekly The Press celebrated its 100th edition with an eight-page wrap which brought in record advertising revenue.
Editor Danny Lockwood launched the paper with Martin Shaw, from the West Riding News Agency, in March 2002 with a £25,000 investment. The Press competes against six Johnston Press-owned weeklies which Lockwood used to edit in the Kirklees area of West Yorkshire.
The supplement featured all 100 front pages with each one sponsored by a local business. The Press employs five journalists and has a circulation of 32,000 free and 3,500 paid for.
Lockwood said: “We have been in profit since week one and last week was our biggest revenue ever.
“People think there’s a big company behind us and a big money man but basically it’s just me, Martin Shaw, four or five Macs and a digital camera.
“We were profitable from week one because we are able to control costs.
Digital publishing is relatively inexpensive and we’ve always had a business plan, which we’ve stuck to.
“We don’t have the resources to take on Johnston with promotions and newsagent incentives. Our best tool is our product and we’ve found that if we put that straight into people’s homes our advertisers get a great response.
“We’ve brought a professional approach to local news, as opposed to the parish pump style, and we’ve had a great response to that. Every week our letters page is packed out and that’s how I measure a good local paper.”
The Press’s parent company, News Post, also publishes The Yorker, in conjunction with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and has plans to a launch a football monthly within the next few weeks.
By Dominic Ponsford