Reach announces 'largest digital launch yet' with Yorkshire Live

Simon Austin's picture
Yorkshire Live

Publisher Reach PLC has deployed a 30-strong team for its new service Yorkshire Live, which it is calling its “largest digital launch yet”.

Twelve journalists have been hired for the launch, alongside the six already employed by LeedsLive and 12 digital journalists at the Huddersfield Examiner’s offices.

Yorkshire Live will see the company expand its existing digital footprint from its LeedsLive and ExaminerLive portals into Sheffield, Bradford and North Yorkshire.

The editor will be Chris Sherrard, Reach’s editor-in-chief digital in the North, while Huddersfield Examiner editor Wayne Ankers will also now serve as head of news for Yorkshire Live.

Sherrard said: “Yorkshire is such an exciting county with so many interesting towns and cities. We want to cover all that is great about the people and places of the county in an interesting and engaging way.

“We’re excited about the team that we have built for Yorkshire Live and look forward to building a deep and meaningful connection with the readers.”

Embedded rich media on Twitter

Among the new hires are football writers Dominic Howson and Ricky Charlesworth (above), who join from the Sheffield Star, while Nathan Hemmingham has been recruited from HullLive to become the site’s Sheffield United correspondent.

They will report into head of football for Yorkshire and Lancashire, Tom-Marshall Bailey. A new office will open in Sheffield alongside the Leeds and Huddersfield offices with a five-strong team, led by Fay Preston, who has joined from HullLive.

Neil Hodgkinson, Reach’s editor-in-Chief for Yorkshire, Humber and Lincolnshire described the new launch as “extra special”.

He said: “This is an exciting time for journalism in Yorkshire. Three new websites, 12 new journalists, a new office in Sheffield and more resources in Leeds. That sort of positive investment does not happen very often.

“It is always special to be involved in launches and it is extra special when it happens in God’s Own Country. Yorkshire Live is the biggest of the Reach Live projects and the team led by Chris is determined to deliver great news and sports stories from all corners of the county.

“They are loving the experience and the enthusiasm and talent already being demonstrated augurs well for the future. This will be fun!”

Reach has now hired almost 50 new journalists since the start of the year as it looks to build on a successful 2019 for audience growth.

David Higgerson, Reach PLC’s chief audience officer, said: “We launched into Leeds three years ago and the team have shown we can build a loyal audience by doing local journalism differently, as we already were doing in Huddersfield.

“The launch of YorkshireLive is really exciting, and we’re delighted to be able to add so many extra journalists to an already strong team in Yorkshire.”

Reach said its reporters were working in new patches “to ensure we report the news you really care about”. The local sites will be LeedsLive, SouthYorkshireLive, NorthYorkshireLive, MyBradford, ExaminerLive and HullLive.