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Archant to launch new weekly in Devon after approach from news industry veterans

Archant is launching a new weekly newspaper and website in South Devon after local news industry veterans came to the publisher with the idea for the title in response to demand from residents.

The Torbay Weekly will be based in the centre of Torquay (pictured) with a team of up to six dedicated editorial and commercial staff, with roles yet to be announced.

The news title is expected to launch between April and June this year.

The idea came from former Reach and Local World executive Chris Coward and ex-Torquay Herald Express editor Jim Parker, who took it to Archant bosses after “countless” people expressed interest in such a title.

Parker, who left the Reach-owned Herald Express in March last year after 40 years with the title, has been named editor.

Coward said: “This project is entirely demand-led. We have been approached countless times by local businesses and community groups who all tell us of the need for a quality, local paper.

“Torbay is in the midst of a major rejuvenation. Readers and advertisers want a relevant local paper that lives and breathes their area and has a genuine belief in Torbay”.

Archant executive chairman Simon Bax said the new title has a “fantastic management team with a wealth of local knowledge”.

“This will enable us to deliver a distinctive, quality service in Torbay whilst strengthening our overall Devon portfolio.

“This project is a great example of Archant’s customer-centric approach and how we stay relevant by listening and responding to the needs of our communities.”

The Torbay Weekly will join Archant’s existing Devon titles, which include the Exmouth Journal, Midweek Herald, North Devon Gazette and Sidmouth Herald.

Reach runs the county-wide Devon Live website with a dedicated page for Torbay.

Picture: Sam Clarke/Pixabay

Comments

18 thoughts on “Archant to launch new weekly in Devon after approach from news industry veterans”

  1. With the latest recruit being yet another Herald Express “veteran” the Torbay Weekly appears to be a retirement home for ex Reach journos, hardly the cutting edge alternative to the existing title is it
    Also from a commercial point of view bear in mind “…local businesses and community groups…..” generally aren’t the ones who pay for advertising ( free yes, pay for ,no ) so let’s hope theres sufficient commercial revenue and advertising already committed long term and these groups aren’t the ones they’re relying on to sustain the publication.

  2. It’s all very confusing isn’t it?
    First Archant editor Matt Kelly says he cannot see how digital news can be monetised believing it to be “nigh on impossible to fund online news” then Archant announce the launch of a series of digital websites,albeit using Google money to do so, had they been funding it themselves I doubt it would have happened, the first of these being in Peterborough, an area already well served by a JPI title and various smaller hyper local community weeklies.
    Then their chairman states they are moving towards being an online only news business….so they announce the launch of a new newspaper in Torbay!
    Is it a case of left hands and right hands, disagreement about the company’s future direction at board level? or is it just a case of running on empty in their own territories so moving onto competitor ones looking for any ad revenue they can pick up?

    I would have thought the last thing a traditional group such as Archant would want to do would be gamble money on a new print weekly when the trend is away from print and the best ones are the new publications initiated by small independent publishers, and when their own existing weeklies are so poor.
    Time will tell and I will reserve judgement until I see this new paper in the flesh but on the face of it it doesn’t bode well.
    Good luck to all involved, I wish you well

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