A former regional press advertising executive has a launched a new hyperlocal magazine for Worthing.
Free monthly title Here & Now will be delivered to 30,000 homes in the West Sussex seaside town from next week, with a further 6,000 copies available from pick-up points.
It is in direct competition with paid-for monthly glossy the Worthing Journal, formerly the Worthing Sentinel. The area is also served by Johnston Press-owned weekly the Worthing Herald.
Here & Now will be printed on newsprint with advertising from local firms, said Mike Cottee who worked for Johnston Press and Newsquest before setting up his own distribution business.
Cottee told Press Gazette he used The Somerset Scene, a magazine he launched in the 1990s, as a model for his latest venture.
The magazine has a “commitment” to include a total of 40 to 50 per cent of editorial content which is about the local area, said Cottee, adding it was “something which seems to be sadly disappearing from local newspapers produced by the big groups”.
It will also include a “what’s on” listings for the town and will be put together by editor Frances Wetherilt and a team of freelance journalists.
Said Cottee: “Although I am from the commercial side of local media, I’ve always been passionate about having good editorial in any publication I am expected to sell advertising in, to me content is king.
“I was lucky enough to have bumped into an old associate at a business networking event, and to discover she was planning to set-up a new business in the publishing sector, when I was thinking exactly the same.
“Over the last couple of years, I have established a highly successful leaflet distribution business in the town, so it seemed logical to return to my roots, as I had the distribution network, so it was a perfect fit.
“It seemed even more logical to partner-up with Frances, and combine the skills we share, and so Here & Now magazine was conceived.”
Launching as a 40-pager, the magazine has a mission statement to “inform, entertain and amuse” and offers “affordable advertising rates” for local businesses, added Cottee.
The title is printed by the Sussex-based Friday-Ad Print and distributed by Worthing Direct.