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April 21, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 9:42am

Oldham Chronicle to relaunch in print as post-Covid recovery makes it ‘perfect time’

By Charlotte Tobitt

Update: 21 April 2021

The Oldham Evening Chronicle is to be relaunched from Friday 25 June for its first regular print editions since 2017.

The free paper will at first publish monthly with the aim to go weekly by the end of the year and eventually bi-weekly. It was formerly a daily title.

Its website is expected to be relaunched shortly afterwards, with an app to follow.

The Chronicle will be produced from its Oldham newsroom by a team of two in-house journalists and a number of freelances overseen by content director Kevin Bailey. It will be printed by Reach’s site in Chadderton, Oldham.

Matt Ramsbottom, managing director of the paper’s owner Credible Media, said: “The impact of the Covid pandemic meant we had to slow down our plans for the Oldham Evening Chronicle to return to print, but as the local economy begins to emerge from the shutdown, it’s the perfect time for a regular, re-born newspaper.

“Our plans are measured and sensible, with the aim to produce a weekly edition later this year, followed by a bi-weekly edition by early 2022.”

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Original story: 23 October 2020

The sale of a regional radio station to Bauer Media could pave the way for the return of the 166-year-old Oldham Evening Chronicle in print.

Credible Media sold Revolution 96.2, which has been broadcasting in Oldham since 1999, to Bauer which intends to turn it into part of its networked Greatest Hits Radio network by the end of the year.

Credible said it will now concentrate on the publishing business and that it is considering whether it can return the Oldham Chronicle, established in 1854, to print after three years online-only.

Credible’s managing director Matt Ramsbottom (pictured) said: “Media is a tricky business at the moment, this deal will help us focus on the Oldham Evening Chronicle brand and its digital development plans for the future.”

Credible bought the Chronicle in 2017 after it closed suddenly when then publisher Hirst, Kidd and Rennie went into administration, making most of its 49 staff redundant.

It originally hoped to get the newspaper back on newsstands “as soon as possible” but after a number of rival titles sprang up in its absence, plans were delayed in favour of developing the digital proposition.

Ramsbottom said: “The radio station has been an exciting experience and is a viable business going forward, as evidenced by previous interest from buyers.

“This deal will allow us to concentrate all our considerable resources into the publishing business. We have exciting plans for the Oldham Evening Chronicle and our magazines, as well as developing our digital platforms further.

“We will remain at our headquarters here in Oldham and invest in securing the future of the Oldham Chronicle brand.”

Revolution 96.2, which was named for Oldham’s role in the industrial revolution, had been owned by Credible Media since January 2014 when it bought the business and broadcasting licence from broadcaster and owner Steve Penk.

Bauer Radio’s group managing director Dee Ford said Revolution 96.2 had “has served and entertained their community valiantly over the years” and said Greater Manchester was a competitive market space, meaning “we’re delighted to be able to take this important step in ensuring our listeners have greater access to this growing brand, as well as creating scale for advertisers”.

Picture: Revolution

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