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Archant sells three south-west titles to Clear Sky Publishing

Archant yesterday announced the sale of three of its titles in south-west England to Devon-based Clear Sky Publishing.

Archant sells three south-west titles to Clear Sky Publishing
Jim Parker: “We now enter the next leg of our exciting journey where we hope to deliver more rich and engaging content both in print and online.”

The sale will see the two organisations work closely together to enhance the provision of local media in the region.

Clear Sky has been formed by Chris Coward, Managing Director of the Torbay Weekly and Simon Bax, Archant’s former Executive Chair, to create a new model for local media using the best traditions of print journalism and the immediacy of social media, says the company.

Ownership of two newspapers and their online versions, the Torbay Weekly and North Devon Gazette along with Exeter Life magazine will transfer to Clear Sky which in turn is committed to launching new online and print brands utilising Archant’s digital marketing and advertising expertise.

Lorna Willis, CEO, Archant said: “The intention is to build on the strong local connections of Clear Sky and be able to offer local and national advertisers an exceptional service across print and digital platforms giving them the best of both worlds.”

“We will work closely together to introduce new features and services that will benefit our readers, customers and the communities that we collectively serve.”

Chris Coward, Director, Clear Sky said: “Just over a year ago, during the first lockdown, Archant supported the launch of the Torbay Weekly, a paper that provides information that is important to the community and that is written by and for that community. Our plan is to expand that concept within Devon.”

Simon Bax, Chair, Clear Sky said: “Chris Coward and Jim Parker have created a strong, dynamic local brand in the Torbay Weekly and we believe there is a massive opportunity to build on that in North Devon and to invest in a complimentary online offering in both areas with the support of Archant.”

“Clear Sky’s mission is to deliver useful and inspiring content to the local communities that it serves and to help local businesses thrive. It will be able to call upon the resources and expertise of Archant to supplement its local focus.”

Jim Parker, Editor-in-chief, Clear Sky commented: “Launching a newspaper and local news operation right at the start of the worst pandemic in history has not been without its challenges! But the feedback and support we’ve had for the Torbay Weekly and its unique community content model has been fantastic - from readers and commercial clients alike. We now enter the next leg of our exciting journey where we hope to deliver more rich and engaging content both in print and online to an expanding audience and marketplace, both editorially and commercially."

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