Sir Ray Tindle, the octogenarian owner of Tindle Newspapers, invoked Winston Churchill’s ‘never surrender’ ethos today as he launched three newspapers in North London.
Taking a bullish approach to dwindling advertising rates, 84-year-old Tindle said his North London newspaper division aimed to ‘launch its way out of recession’with new free ‘hyper-local’ weeklies, the East Barnet Advertiser, the Winchmore Hill Herald and the Edmonton Herald. A fourth paper is also set for launch in the coming weeks.
During a press briefing this morning, Tindle explained how the papers, which each have a print run of around 3,000, are intended to cater for lower-rate advertisers.
The company aims to use its spare printing capacity to publish new papers which, in turn, aim to replace revenue lost on its larger local titles by appealing to smaller businesses.
Tindle said: “The smaller retailer doesn’t want big circulations over wide areas – he only sells to his immediate locality. People don’t go from Enfield to Edmonton for an electric bulb or a hammerâ€¦
“Everything added up to our decision to launch these four smallish papers for small localities while keeping the bigger paper going as well.”
The papers, which came out today, will be distributed door-to-door while future editions will be available from community pick-up points, including schools, shops, libraries and supermarkets.
“I think these hyper-local newspapers published todayâ€¦are superb. As on old hand at the game who has made more cock-ups in newspapers than anyone here, I expected a number of errors,’Tindle added.
“In fact, I can’t find one. Three papers brought to fruition and on the streets in four weeks by the staff, a fourth is on its way.”
Tindle, whose company owns more than 230 smaller titles across the UK, said that papers were helped in their “ad-selling blitz” by the sister titles the South London Press and the Yellow Advertiser.
After hearing that next week’s issues had already met sales targets he awarded staff each a bonus of £100 before going on to cite Churchill as his continuing inspiration in the newspaper business.
“These new papers, like every copy of every paper we publish, have Churchill’s words ‘Noli Cedere’ (Never Surrender) printed upon them.
“Our papers have done this ever since we started many years ago. I heard Churchill say those words in 1940 when most of Europe had surrendered. I became a World War Two soldier and we lived with that saying.
“I put it straight into our masthead when we launched our first paper and not one of our 200 titles has surrendered in this recession nor at any time in my 63 years in newspapers.
“By the end of this March, Tindle Newspapers will have bought or launched 15 titles since the recession started. We totally believe in the future of printed local newspapers – we believe in it 100 per cent.”