Seven new hyper-local weekly newspapers hit the streets of London today
(Friday) when the South London Press recorded its biggest advertising sales and the highest circulation of the year so far.
Staff of the 147-year-old paid-for South London Press, bought four years ago by Tindle Newspapers, organised a party to celebrate the launch of the seven new titles for Streatham, Brixton, Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Deptford &New Cross and Forest Hill&Sydenham. They were celebrating a sell-out in advertising sales on the local pages and the publication of pages and pages of local photographs from the capital‘s Diamond Jubilee street parties. Sir Ray had asked for six hyperlocal papers in 14 days. The SLP staff produced seven papers in six working days.
The ‘magnificent seven‘ new newspapers led the renewed Tindle Newspapers campaign for local community newspapers throughout London and across the country.
Afterwards chairman Sir Ray Tindle said that the success of the launches showed that, given the right product, local advertisers and readers would back their local newspapers. He thanked especially the Streatham managing director, Peter Edwards, the editor-in-chief, Hannah Walker, and their staff who had carried out a wonderful job in producing the new successful newspapers so rapidly.
At the party at the Streatham offices, one of the principal guests, Newspaper Society President Geraldine Allinson, praised the new papers, calling them a wonderful achievement for which she saluted everyone involved. She added:‘ In good times and bad people will always need to know what is going on around them and they will always need local news which is why I have a total belief in the long-term success of local newspapers.‘
Society of Editors director Bob Satchwell congratulated the staff, especially editorial, for their success. The future of the local press relied on local issues with newspapers listening to local people
Among the guests to praise the launch was Chris Oakley, former editor of the Liverpool Echo, later owner of the Birmingham Post and Mail and the Yorkshire Post, who had travelled from Belgium to be at the launch party; and Lynne Anderson, communications and marketing director of the Newspaper Society.
Peter Edwards told guests:‘ This project to produce hyper-local newspapers for specific communities in South London has made a huge contribution to securing the future of this iconic and much-loved newspaper title.‘
Hannah Walker said the launches were only the beginning for the South London Press and the its staff. The Jubilee had provided an ideal launch pad for the seven titles but the hard work was really only beginning.
Local community newspapers were the way ahead and would give the industry a long and successful future. This was good for staff and the readers who relied on good local newspapers to give them a voice.
Tindle chief executive Brian Doel said the launches, the biggest single event of its kind, brought to 17 the number of new titles created by the group during the recession. And the Streatham staff had done seven in only six days which must be a record.