The Westender and The Independent will retain their individual styles and focus, but will back up against each other in the one quality tabloid newspaper.
Kerrod Trott has been involved with independent, community publishing since the 1980s and has published the Westender – Brisbane’s Urban Voice – since 1992. Don Gordon Brown is a vastly experienced newspaper editor who has been publishing The Independent in the CBD and the urban-renewal hotspots that surround it since 2001.
“Both mastheads have been fiercely loyal to their local communities and have pursued issues of real local concern without fear or favour,” the publishers said in a joint statement (that nobody in Quest Newspapers is going to run).
“It’s no secret that both of our publications have struggled at times with declining advertising revenues. As free publications, that advertising revenue obviously makes or breaks us.
“Sharing print and distribution costs at a time when printed newspapers everywhere are feeling the pinch just made perfect sense if we want to keep serving our communities.
“And our loyal readers can decide whether they’re reading it back to front or front to back.”
Don and Kerrod bring a vast array of publishing experience and intimate local knowledge to the new venture, as well as a strong local following in their respective markets.
The two mastheads will share a traditional, full-colour tabloid newspaper, published fortnightly and distributed widely throughout the CBD and inner urban area of Brisbane, north and south of the river.
Each edition will be printed as two papers in one, allowing readers to catch up on the local news north and south of the Brisbane River.
Initial print run will be 12,000 copies with 6,000 each distributed to their two local markets.
“Murdoch showed what he thought of inner-Brisbane’s residents when he axed City News a while ago,” Kerrod and Don said in their statement.
“We’re asking advertisers to support our two traditional, community-minded publications.
“We have never lost faith in the important role our mastheads play in our community, and we know residents appreciate that role and would always wish us well.”