Top-to-bottom review reshapes Argus ethos

The Argus, Brighton, is to relaunch on Monday with a new ethos aimed at providing “more than local community news”.

The changes follow a year of research involving staff, readers and focus groups.

Each day the newspaper will have a special section or supplement, a new four-page what’s on section called The Guide and a new football Premiership page.

The new additions include an expanded Woman section in the centre of the paper on Monday, a Body and Soul section on Tuesday, a showbiz page on Wednesday and a motoring pullout on Thursday.

Former Mirror journalist Jo Dillon has been recruited as a columnist for the Thursday edition.

Friday’s paper has a redesigned what’s on section and two new sports columnists and on Saturday there is an expanded weekend section and a new feature called The Rant, in which readers air their views.

The Argus was evening newspaper of the year in the Press Gazette Regional Press Awards 2003 and has an ABC circulation of 44,514 – down from 53,978 five years ago.

Editor Simon Bradshaw said: “We have reviewed absolutely everything about the paper and come up with what I think is a new approach for a local newspaper. The key will be consistently delivering the many great ideas members of staff, readers and non-readers have come up with.

“We have got to offer a compelling read with humour, brilliant reporting and news analysis not available anywhere else.”

Sales and marketing head Stephen Lowe said: “Readers are becoming more discerning and demand more than local community news to entertain them. We have to change the look and feel of regional newspapers if we are to compete in future for their time.

“The new Argus has a mix of lifestyle, entertainment and features – not forgetting local news, but local news that matters.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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