JPI Media: Online expansion into eight major UK markets - Press Gazette

JPI Media to expand online into eight major UK markets with Local TV partnership

JPI Media online expansion

JPI Media has revealed plans to expand into seven major UK cities, plus Wales, as it hopes to become a “truly national network of local news brands” under new owner David Montgomery.

The publisher will launch eight new websites under its digital-only “World” brand, under which the National World website launched in March with aims to rival The Independent.

It said the websites would be “video-led” in partnership with Local TV, where Montgomery is also chairman, which will deploy eight TV video journalists to support JPI’s teams in each market.

Websites in Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow will go live on 12 August while further news sites in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Wales will follow.

Reach has a major online presence in each of these locations with Newsquest also a big player in Glasgow and Wales where it launched its own online national news service earlier this year.

Montgomery, whose National World company bought JPI Media at the start of this year, said: “We have the talent and resources to be a truly national network of local news brands. JPI Media is at last throwing off the shackles of its geographical limitations to enter major UK communities that are underserved in serious local journalism.”

[Read more: David Montgomery targets ‘new age of localisation’ with Local TV network as well as JPI]

JPI said 45 new roles will be created to staff the new websites, with 32 content roles, eight in commercial and several in marketing support.

The new websites, combined with JPI’s newspaper brands, will give the publisher access to 80% of the UK market, it added.

Other regional launches are expected under JPI’s existing regional divisions in the model of Lincolnshire World.

The expansion is in pursuit of National World’s goal to double its online audience by the end of 2022.

The company said the expansion, utilising its existing infrastructure and central teams, represented an “exciting new and transformational opportunity for JPI to grow its UK-wide audience footprint and share of local, regional and national digital advertising”.

Montgomery said the package JPI and Local TV will be able to offer national and local advertisers across print, online, video and broadcast TV was “long overdue” in UK media.

Local TV has a broadcast channel in six of the cities JPI is entering, plus Leeds where JPI’s flagship newspaper Yorkshire Post is based.

JPI’s group editor Mark Thompson will lead the new division. The editors for each site have been appointed:

  • Manchester: Jenny Simpson, former Lancashire Post content editor
  • Glasgow: Ros Erskine, digital journalist at The Scotsman
  • Newcastle: Laura Hill, head of live news at JPI Media North East
  • Liverpool: Dominic Raynor, former Liverpool FC journalist
  • Birmingham: Fionnuala Bourke, commercial audience editor at Reach
  • London: Ralph Blackburn, Triangle News agency’s chief reporter
  • Bristol: Alex Ross, content editor at Reach’s Bristol Live

The editor for Wales will be announced in the coming weeks.

Reach and Newsquest have both been hiring in recent months, with 50 digital journalist jobs on offer at Newsquest following the success of its online subscriptions experiments and 76 sports jobs and 28 roles in Scotland among the major investment at Reach.

Noteworthy online incumbents in each of JPI’s new markets include:

  • Manchester: Reach’s Manchester Evening News
  • Glasgow: Reach’s Glasgow Live, Newsquest’s Glasgow Times
  • Newcastle: Reach’s Chronicle Live
  • Liverpool: Reach’s Liverpool Echo
  • Birmingham: Reach’s Birmingham Live
  • London: Reach’s My London, the Evening Standard
  • Bristol: Reach’s Bristol Live
  • Wales: Reach’s Wales Online and North Wales Live, Newsquest’s The National

Picture: Reuters/Morten Holm/ Scanpix



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3 thoughts on “JPI Media to expand online into eight major UK markets with Local TV partnership”

  1. @Canary
    I would have thought any regional publisher would be put off by the Mustard tv debacle and shocking losses incurred

    Grabbing the license just to prevent a competitor from getting it,even when they had no idea how to run the operation,was a very expensive and foolhardy decision to make as evidenced by the three false starts,lack of advertising,amateurish content and embarrassing choice of presenters,many of whom were wannabes from the editorial department who should never have been allowed anywhere near a camera.

    It’s also no coincidence that the managing director, Ceo and station director have all since ” left the business to pursue other interests”

    I wish David Montgomery and his team well but hope they look at what went wrong at Mustard tv so they don’t make the same mistakes with their venture

  2. Existing JPI newsrooms are currently being run on what feels like a skeleton staff and are only surviving because of the goodwill of reporters. This is a massive slap in the face for those of us who have been told time and time again that there is no more money for journalists. It feels retaliatory for the past couple of years where Reach have parked the tanks of JPIs lawns. But it’s not going to work because there isn’t the breadth of talent in the new ‘newsrooms’ that it’s going to take for the new digital titles to flourish in those big cities already served by the likes of the MEN and the Echo.

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