Local Paper to Become a Freesheet

Circulation had slipped to just 1,257 copies per week

The publisher of local weekly paper the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle, Trinity Mirror Southern, has announced that it will be free from next week.

Until now the Chronicle has been a paid for newpaper available from newsagents, but under pressure from Hammersmith and Fulham Council's controversial free paper, Hammersmith and Fulham News, its circulation had slipped to just 1,257 copies per week.

Now, Trinity Mirror Southern, or TSM, has announced that from Friday January 15 the paper will be delivered free to over 72,000 homes in the borough, and will also have a rebranded website.

The company says these "significant and radical changes" to its publishing strategy means that it will reach nearly 99% of homes instead of just over 20%.

TSM's current free paper, the London Informer, is to close. Two other papers in neighbouring areas are to become "hybrids", being distributed free to over 42,000 while also available for sale in newsagents.

They are also being renamed - the Kensington and Chelsea News will become the Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle, while the Paddington, Maryleone and Pimlico Mercury will become the Westminster Chronicle.

Simon Edgley, Managing Director of Trinity Mirror Southern, says: "The changes to our publishing strategy and the investments we are making will enable us to reach and inform a wider audience than ever before, which will in turn, benefit the local communities we serve."

January 7, 2010