Chronicle Wins Exclusive Deal to Carry Council Advertising
Paper's publisher only bidder for six year Hammersmith & Fulham contract
The protracted battle between Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the Trinity Mirror group, which publishes the Fulham Chronicle, has come to an end. Trinity Mirror was the only bidder in a European-wide tender for an exclusive six year advertising contract to carry the Council's advertising.
This mean that today's edition of H&F News (April 5th) will be the last ever. The controversial Council newspaper which was the subject of a campaign by Trinity called 'Proper papers not propaganda' had to close after new regulations introduced by Eric Pickles restricted the frequency of council publications to four a year. Trinity claimed that H&F News was effectively subsidised by over £600,000 a year and was aimed at driving them out of business.
In setting up H&F News, the Council's Head of Communications, Simon Jones was very critical of local newspapers saying in an article in the Press Gazette in 2008 that a loud hailer would be more effective in reaching people than the local paper. He added, "free newspapers are often afterthoughts, poorly produced by undervalued, disillusioned sub-editors in centralised 'pods' where the only relationship to the area they are serving is through a worn-out A-Z." Mr. Jones was a former employee of Trinity Mirror.
The new agreement will see public notices and other display advertisements published in the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle every week. As part of the agreement, extra pages will also be provided by the paper to ensure that the council continues to promote consultations, events and other public information.
Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council Leader, said: “We have been incredibly proud to have published H&F News but this agreement is a positive step forward for the borough's residents as we have secured an effective way of communicating our news, while delivering real value for money. As a result we will continue to have one of the lowest communication costs of any London borough."
He added, “this illustrates our commitment to supporting a vibrant independently produced newspaper in the borough.”
Simon Edgley, Managing Director of Trinity Mirror Southern, said: “We are not only absolutely delighted to sign this agreement, but also that our titles and websites will play such a significant part in ensuring that residents of Hammersmith & Fulham remain appropriately informed.”
April 6, 2011