Torbay Weekly moves forward for future

Head shot of newspaper owner

Simon Bax - Credit: Archant

The Torbay Weekly has new owners giving it a huge vote of confidence for the future.

The newspaper was launched just over a year ago under Torbay Media Limited and as part of the Archant publishing stable.

A new company, Clear Sky Publishing,  will now run the Torbay Weekly. Archant has also sold the North Devon Gazette and Exeter Life to Clear Sky. Both companies will be working closely together in the future.to enhance the provision of local media in the region.

Clear Sky has been formed by Simon Bax, who was Archant’s executive chairman until last year, along with Torbay Weekly managing director Chris Coward. Torbay Weekly editor Jim Parker will serve as the company’s editor-in-chief.

Archant CEO Lorna Willis said: "Clear Sky has been formed to create a new model for local media using the best traditions of print journalism and the immediacy of social media. It is committed to launching new online and print brands utilising Archant’s digital marketing and advertising expertise.

“The intention is to build on the strong local connections of Clear Sky and be able to offer local and national advertisers an exceptional service across print and digital platforms giving them the best of both worlds. We will work closely together to introduce new features and services that will benefit our readers, customers and the communities that we collectively serve.”Chris Coward said: “Just over a year ago, during the first lockdown, Archant supported the launch of the Torbay Weekly, a paper that provides information that is important to the community and that is written by and for that community.“Our plan is to expand that concept within Devon.”Jim Parker said: “Launching a newspaper and local news operation right at the start of the worst pandemic in history has not been without its challenges. But the feedback and support we’ve had for the Torbay Weekly and its unique community content model has been fantastic – from readers and commercial clients alike.“We now enter the next leg of our exciting journey where we hope to deliver more rich and engaging content both in print and online to an expanding audience and marketplace, both editorially and commercially.”Simon spent six years with Archant before his departure as chief executive in December 2020.He said: “Chris Coward and Jim Parker have created a strong, dynamic local brand in the Torbay Weekly and we believe there is a massive opportunity to build on that in North Devon and to invest in a complimentary online offering in both areas with the support of Archant.“Clear Sky’s mission is to deliver useful and inspiring content to the local communities that it serves and to help local businesses thrive.“It will be able to call upon the resources and expertise of Archant to supplement its local focus.”