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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.

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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

Comments

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

  1. Really?
    “ countless”?
    Maybe more a case of other groups ex staffers with an axe to grind persuading Archant to spend Google’s money on a speculative launch against their old employers?

    And if locals “all tell us of the need for a quality, local paper” I’d suggest they look at the dire state of Archants existing weekly papers selling a pitiful few copies a week and which are populated with old news,social media posts lifts from Facebook and Twitter or reader supplied puffs then they’d see what Simon Bax laughingly calls “ …Archant’s customer-centric approach”

  2. When you’ve dismantled your business and closed your print centre I guess the logical step is to muscle in on someone elses.

    Archant are skating on thin ice having first moved in on JPI territory with a planned launch in Peterborough now attacking Reach in Torquay.
    They need to be careful one of those or another of the main players doesn’t kick back by launching competitor news services on Norfolk and Suffolk, there’s certainly the need and they’d be pushing on an open door if they did such is Archants awful reputation in those areas these days.
    Papers that don’t sell, adverts that don’t work and staff who don’t care means a good professional news and advertising is service covering the counties would be welcomed with open arms.

    And if Simon Bax believes”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.” He’s completely out of touch and believes the guff he’s being given by the yes men in the management team.

    Sad it’s come to this desperate state of affairs for a once credible regional publisher

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