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Reach makes statement on free titles

Reach on Thursday confirmed that it will resume publication of all five editions of the Manchester Weekly News on September 9th. Four other free titles will not resume publication.

Reach makes statement on free titles

The five editions of the Manchester Weekly News will all resume publication and distribution on that date – the Trafford, Tameside, Wilmslow, Salford and Stockport editions.

The four other free titles that were suspended in April at the outset of the pandemic - The Lichfield Mercury, The Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer, Blackmore Vale Magazine and the Midweek Visiter (Southport) will not resume publication.

Reach says it will continue to provide local news to audiences in these areas, as well as opportunities to advertisers, via its paid titles, Live websites and the InYourArea hyperlocal app.

The Midlands areas will be served by the Birmingham Mail and Birmingham Live as well as Staffordshire Live websites. Southport will continue to be served by the Southport Visiter every Thursday, with digital news coverage provided via the Liverpool Echo site. Blackmore Vale will be covered by Somerset Live and the hyperlocal InYourArea service.

Commenting on the news, a Reach spokesperson said: “We are pleased to bring back the Manchester Weekly News with all five editions returning next month. The free model was already challenged before COVID and it would be uneconomic to resume publication of four of the titles we suspended in April, however Reach continues to offer digital options for readers and advertisers in these areas as well as our paid titles in the Midlands and Southport areas.”

In addition to the Manchester Weekly News, Reach continues to produce other local free titles - the West London Gazette series and Hounslow Chronicle which continued publication throughout the pandemic and remain viable, say the publishers.