Trinity Mirror is to launch a “quality free” paper in Maidenhead to take on the independentlyowned Maidenhead Advertiser.
The move is part of a shake-up of the Slough Express series which will see six new editorial staff taken on, including at least two reporters to work the Maidenhead patch.
As part of the changes, the paid-for Windsor Express is to be turned into a free paper, although it will still be available for sale at some outlets.
The new set-up means Trinity Mirror will have three titles in the Express series based in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, with a total distribution of 81,000 copies. Currently the Windsor, Ascot & Eton Express has an ABC sale of 7,349 and the free Slough & South Bucks Express has a distribution of 34,258.
The established Maidenhead Advertiser, owned by Bayliss & Co Ltd, has a circulation of 29,158.
According to Trinity Mirror, the Express series is undergoing a thorough revamp ahead of the Maidenhead launch on Friday, 8 October. There will be increased pagination, new supplements and full colour – the papers are to be printed at a new Trinity Mirror press in Cardiff.
New additions include an entertainment supplement called Expresso.
Although the Windsor Express is going free, Trinity Mirror maintains that “it will retain its paid-for style and quality and current editorial to advertising ratios will remain unchanged”.
The publication date for the Express papers is to move from Thursday to Friday to bring them in line with competing titles.
Express series editor Paul Thomas said: “The Maidenhead Express is a free title with editorial content to rival some of the best paid-fors. Maidenhead is crying out for a quality free paper that gives readers a hardhitting, relevant and easy-to-read package and offers advertisers tremendous value for their money.”