This round of expansion will mark more than 170 new jobs created at Reach’s regional Live sites since the start of 2020, say the company.
The latest plans will introduce ‘Live’ newsbrands to Norfolk, Suffolk, Dorset, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire this year - all areas which did not previously have a Reach print or online title at a local level. In addition, Darlington, North Devon, Weston-super-Mare and Rutland will have dedicated newsbrands in the coming months. The MyLondon editorial team will also benefit from this hiring round, adding 5 to the 25 new roles created in December 2020.
The decision follows a period of rapid growth for Reach’s online regional brands. Comscore data released in March, reports Reach, shows that 72% of UK adults get local news from Reach, up from 67% a year ago, with 88% of adults who consume local news in the UK spending time on Reach’s Live network of sites.
The move to blanket English and Welsh coverage at the local level is key to Reach’s Customer Value Strategy, which has now brought on more than 6 million registered customers in just over a year.
Lloyd Embley, Reach Editor-in-Chief, added: “Over the past 18 months, we’ve significantly ramped up the number of new sites we’ve launched as part of our Live network, many in areas where we don't have established print titles.
“Thanks to our transformation of editorial operations last year and underpinned by our customer value strategy which ensures we build deeper relationships with our readers, we have created a sustainable model for digital-only local journalism.
“The reaction to 2020’s launches from new readers has been overwhelmingly positive, giving us the confidence to complete the whole map of England and Wales by the end of this year.
“This is incredibly exciting and further strengthens our position as the leading news publisher in the UK with an unparalleled ability to engage audiences through both our national and regional journalism.”
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