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.

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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

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Comments

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

  1. Why don’t you wait and see what they come up with before making such comments? Archant is a nationally respected news organisation. Surely it wouldn’t support this financially if it’s bosses didn’t think it had legs, as we used to say.
    Perhaps reserve your judgement until you see the finished product.
    If these are the kind of negative comments that those who are trying to revitalise the industry receive, it’s no surprise it is on its knees.

  2. Like others, I’m decidedly underwhelmed and more than a bit confused by this news. Torbay already has a weekly paper, the Herald Express, which was edited by Jim Parker until July 2018 and with which Jim remained involved until last year.

    While I’m happy to believe there might – just might – be demand for a ‘quality, local paper’ in the area, if the Herald Express isn’t fulfilling this purpose then I can’t see the logic of recruiting the person responsible for shaping its identity over many years, before becoming an ambassador for the title, to oversee this new project.

    For what it’s worth, I’d like to think there remains a place for quality, local papers. However, it’s plainly a tough market and, it seems to me, if you’re to stand any chance of succeeding you’re going to need to innovate and think outside the box.

    What I suspect we’ll get here is a near-replica of the Herald Express dressed up in an Archant template and I’m wholly unconvinced anyone in the English riviera is crying out for that.

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