New times for old Tymes

The former editor of monthly free newspaper Mature Tymes, Tony Watt, has bought the title along with a partner after previous owners Publishing Partners went into liquidation, writes Sarah Lagan.

Editor Lyndsay Roberts has left the magazine to go freelance and the remaining editorial staff were made redundant.

Watt, who headed the paper back in 1991, will reclaim his position at the title and business finance consultant Andrew Silk will become managing director.

Their company, Highwood House Publishing, also bought Publishing Partners’ two remaining titles, Computer Consultant and Your Home and Garden in April.

Watt has changed the name of the newspaper, aimed at the over-50s, to Mature Times because “Tymes was too old-fashioned”. He will restyle it to give it a more modern feel. Watt hopes to make the newspaper more campaigning and will launch up to six regional editions.

Before the title was taken over, about 100,000 copies were in distribution.

The initial print run from Highwood House will be the same but will go up to 160,000 within the first six months. Although it is a free newspaper, Mature Times has 1,000 subscriptions of £15 a year.

The editions start in England and Wales and circulation will eventually move further north. Watt said: “We will rebuild the magazine into what it used to be – a strong, campaigning publication, pushing on issues such as ageism and pensions. The title has great potential. In its heyday it had a circulation of 400,000.”

The first Highwood House edition will be available in September.

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