Wakefield Post changes name before launch

Two new weekly newspapers in West Yorkshire have changed their name on the eve of their launch, following a dispute with regional publishing giant Johnston Press.

As reported in Press Gazette last week, new company Johnson Publishing was set to launch the first issues of the Wakefield Post and the Cas and Pont Post tomorrow morning.

The papers are set to go head to head with Johnston's Wakefield Express series and the Wakefield edition of the Yorkshire Evening Post.

But publisher and ex-Johnston Press South Yorkshire managing director Terry Johnson has now changed the new papers' names from Post to Guardian.

It is understood that Johnston Press raised objections about the name, believing it owned the rights to use it.

Wakefield Guardian editor Ben Pindar said: "While it's unfortunate to have to change our name at this late stage, we remain enthusiastic about the papers and are extremely pleased with the response we've received. It's all systems go at the moment."

The launch of the renamed papers will go ahead as planned tomorrow and the Pontefract-based team have received a welcome boost when they signed a major advertising deal with Ikea.

Darren Symons, communications manager for Ikea Leeds, spotted the story in last week's Press Gazette and contacted Johnson.

Johnson said he remained upbeat about the papers' future, despite their "obstacles" and the fact that negotiations with Johnston Press were "not concluded".

He said: "Every bit of feedback we've had from advertisers and readers has been positive and we aim to build on the successes so far."

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