The Manchester Evening News and Chronicle Live have launched new hyperlocal websites as part of Reach’s digital expansion.
The My Bolton, My Bury and My Salford brands will have dedicated sections of the MEN website and their own social media pages.
Reach said this would bring “further depth” to coverage of areas that have traditionally been part of the MEN patch.
The sections can be directly accessed through their own microsites, for example mybolton.news.
A team of about six journalists, including three former reporters from Newsquest rival Bolton News and three already working at Reach, will work on the new sections.
MEN editor-in-chief Darren Thwaites said: “We are delighted to be able to build on the success of our journalism to expand local news coverage in Greater Manchester.
“This is great news for readers in Bolton, Bury and Salford who will be able to find even more stories about their local area produced to the high standards they expect from the MEN.
“We have developed a very good understanding of how to reach and grow local audiences and our new brands, plus an expanded reporting team, will help us to strengthen our coverage in Bolton, Bury and Salford.”
Reach has also today launched Durham Live and Sunderland Live, both of which will sit within the Newcastle-based Chronicle Live site.
The publisher said that this together with its sister website Teesside Live would complete its coverage of the North East of England “from Alnwick in the North to Scotch Corner in the South”.
The launches are among those following Reach’s announcement in November that it would launch at least seven new regional websites and recruit 46 journalists in a “significant expansion” of its digital network.
In the Midlands, Reach has launched Mansfield Live, which falls under Nottinghamshire Live, and Chesterfield Live under Derbyshire Live.
Three journalists have been hired to work on the two news patches.
Later this month Essex Live editor Alan Woods will head up a team of six for the launch of Herts Live to cover the entire county of Hertfordshire, which Reach has previously covered only in part with the Hertfordshire Mercury newspaper.
A fifth of all Reach’s proposed regional hires for 2020 are set for Scotland, where ten hires have been made across Glasgow Live and Edinburgh Live including a brand new sports team.
And Wales Online has added its third dedicated city site in the form of Newport Online, which will be staffed by three journalists including two new recruits, who will also produce a daily newsletter for the city.
Reach group editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley (pictured) said: “When we first announced this latest investment in our online editorial back in November, it was a clear signal about the scale of our ambition across both national and regional newsbrands.
“Now, only a few months on, it’s a real sign of our commitment and pace that we’ve already made such progress. My sincere congratulations and thanks to the teams who have worked so hard to deliver this milestone.”
Press Gazette reported last week that a team of 12 journalists had been put together to expand Reach’s coverage of Yorkshire.
The publisher has also created five new journalist jobs by expanding its Cornwall and Devon news websites with the Truro Live, Torbay Live and Exeter Live brands.
Picture: Society of Editors