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Pop-up paper promises Brexit relief

News, 05 July 2016

LONDON: Archant, the regional UK news publisher, is launching a "pop-up" national newspaper that aims to "give voice to the values" of the 48% of UK voters who voted to remain in the European Union.

Initially, The New European will be published every Friday for four weeks, priced at £2 and with a "six-figure" print run. As well as being available to order online, retail distribution will cover London, the south of England, Manchester and Liverpool.

"The vote has given us the distribution map on a plate," Matt Kelly, Archant chief content officer and launch editor of the new title, told the Financial Times.

He added that there had been little market research or time spent testing dummy editions – "Frankly a lot of that is unnecessary" – as the newspaper moved from concept to launch in just nine days.

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Kelly argued, in comments reported by the Press Gazette, that the 16m Remain voters were not well served by the traditional press.

"There is a clear opportunity for a newspaper like The New European that people will want to read and carry like a badge of honour," he said.

"We value expertise and have some of the world's best brains in their areas writing for us," he continued. So, for example, the editor of Bild, Europe's most-read newspaper, will be contributing to the first issue.

Politicians, however, are banned. And non-Brexit content is also promised in "a celebration of why we loved Europe so much in the first place".

Archant's chief marketing officer hailed the paper as "a new type of publishing product" that was pushing the boundaries in newspaper publishing, MediaTel reported.

"As a pop-up publishing project this is a truly innovative approach to reaching new audience segments," Will Hattam said.

"What's exciting is that the story of this paper isn't yet written – it has sprung into life, driven by the events of the last few weeks, and will continue to serve its audience as long as they want it to.

"There's no ongoing commitment, just an opportunity to explore new boundaries in newspaper publishing."

The UK's print newsbrands amassed advertising revenue of £1.9bn in 2015, yet this was down 11.6% from 2014, according to the AA/Warc Expenditure Report, which surveys the UK media each quarter. A further dip, of 8.8%, is forecast for 2016.

Data sourced from Press Gazette, MediaTel, Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff