Independent West Yorkshire weekly The Press published its 500th edition on Friday – with its managing director claiming its commitment to “hard news” has been the key to its success.
In April MD Danny Lockwood took full control of the title, which he first launched nine years ago in competition against Johnston Press titles the Dewsbury Reporter and Batley News series.
Lockwood was previously editor and managing director but took a backseat from the business in 2007, only to return earlier this year when it ran into financial difficulties.
‘We’ve always been committed to asking the tough questions and dealing with hot issues, and as we pass this milestone our readers are still telling us that’s what they want to read,’said Lockwood, explaining the title’s success..
Lockwood said the paper now goes head-to-head with six Johnston Press weeklies which he used to edit.
To mark the anniversary the paper published a 20-page supplement charting its history, which includes winning numerous awards and fighting a ‘bloody libel battle all the way to the High Court in London against former Labour MP Shahid Malik”.
‘We thought we might do a four or eight-page insert, but when the sales staff started ringing round our regular customers the response was overwhelming,’said Lockwood, who also publishes a weekly newspaper about rugby league and two golf magazines.
‘Four became eight became 12, 16 and 20 pages in no time at all. It’s made for a cracking revenue week. I had to tell Advertising Manager Lucy Tissiman we couldn’t cope with much more,” said Lockwood.
Former editor and director Martin Shaw put the special edition together, while current editor David Bentley took care of the main paper.
‘We’re a small team, very lean and we move quickly – that’s what’s kept us in the game all these years,’said Lockwood. ‘But more than that, we stay very close to our readers and our advertisers. I think a lot of bigger publishing outfits could learn a few lessons from we small guys.”