Bridport & West Dorset News, Views, Videos & Curiosities

New owners of View From newspapers revealed

THE NEW owners of Dorset’s View From series of local newspapers are Jerry and Rosemary Ramsdale, who also own the Mariners Hotel in Lyme Regis.

The couple have six children and a holiday home in Lyme.

They bought the 17 century Mariners hotel and restaurant in November 2007, and have since refurbished it.

Jerry Ramsdale

Mr Ramsdale runs a magazine publishing and exhibitions company in St Albans. Fastener + Fixing Magazineaccording to its website – is published six times a year, and each print edition of more than 30 pages of original reporting and interviews is distributed on a free-of-charge, controlled circulation basis to 12500 named professionals across the European fastener and fixings manufacturing and distribution industry.

Fastener + Fixing Annual Business Directories are also distributed to those same industry professionals, as well as being distributed at exhibitions the magazine takes part in throughout the world.

Mr Ramsdale also has other business interests, including part ownership of a fleet vehicle magazine.

This is his first venture into newspaper publishing.

The View From titles – covering Bridport, Beaminster, Lyme Regis, Dorchester and Weymouth – will continue to be run from offices in St Michael’s Business Centre in Lyme Regis.

Mr Ramsdale said: “I am looking forward to working with founders Philip and Jackie Evans and their staff in developing the View group of newspapers.

“They are excellent community publications, very popular with the readers and well respected by advertisers.

“Although these are difficult times for local newspapers I believe there is an excellent future for community publications like the View.”

Mr and Mrs Ramsdale have also acquired the View from Chard, View from Ilminster and View from Sid Vale titles, as well as the View Online website, which you can see by clicking on this link here.

Note: Based on a press release issued by the View From, but including additional material.

8 Responses to “New owners of View From newspapers revealed”

  1. Margery Hookings

    I wish the new owners well. It’ll be a hard slog for them and the staff, but, having worked for both the Bridport News as a reporter and editor, and as a reporter for the View, I am pleased that Newsquest will still not have the monopoly in this area. Newsquest’s advertising rates are sky-high and the news content is indifferent, with huge pictures used for the sake of so-called ‘style’.

    Not long ago, the BN was looking good and the content was beginning to improve but it has now sadly become an Echo lookalike, with a downmarket tabloid front page, all picture and headline and not much else. I felt sorry for the lad on today’s front page under the headline ‘Face up to crime’. He’s not even quoted, it’s his dad.

    And it makes me laugh to see the ‘Your News’ section getting smaller and smaller, as if the rest of the BN is ‘Not Your News But Ours’.

    There have been some unflattering, smug comments about the View but at least Pip Evans had the balls to take on the big-boys. It’s a changing world out there and the winners will be those who truly meet the public’s needs rather than thinking they know the needs of the public.

  2. Bill Stanley

    Has the Bridport News got an editor? One that sits in his, or her, office and does a bit of actual work? I must confess I see few signs if it. I do see a lot of topped and tailed press releases, re-worked readers letters and the odd bit of copy churned out as the result of a phone call. I don’t see much proper reporting which involves getting out onto the streets, into the pubs and around the villages talking and, more importantly, listening to people’s gripes, opinions and hopes. Court and council reporting are invisible, clearly the old round of daily ‘calls’ is not done and the staff must walk about the town with their eyes and ears closed and their inquisitiveness turned off. This is a publication that is not serving the community in which it is based but, presumably, is pleasing a bunch of accountants who are far away. Is that what we want? At the minute it is certainly what we are getting.

    • Jonathan Hudston

      Mr Stanley – thank you for your comment. The Bridport News has not had an editor based in Bridport since last Spring, when Tony Bonnici left. Before him there was Holly Robinson, who went to Buckinghamshire, and before her Margery Hookings, who is still busy and living in West Dorset (as you can see from her comment on this same story). The news-editing, the sub-editing, the overall editing of the BN is handled (I am told by BN staff) in Weymouth and I don’t know how exactly the people there choose to combine their responsibilities to the BN as well as to the Dorset Echo.
      As for the “old round of daily ‘calls'” (emphasis added), it would be genuinely interesting to know how many – if any – local newspapers still do this round as I remember doing it as a trainee on the Basingstoke Gazette nearly 20 years ago. I would go down to the local police station every morning and sometimes spend more than half a hour with the duty inspector writing down details of practically every crime committed locally; for example, after a burglary, who the victim was, where they lived, what they had lost, how much it was all worth. Then I would go back to the office and write everything up as stories or as NiBs (News in Briefs). I remember having similar long chats in Bridport with Insp Hugh Thomas from 1993-95; again, I would write loads up. But things changed. The police began giving out a lot less detail; after a burglary, for example, you couldn’t have both the victim’s name and address – it was one or the other – and the address became a bit vaguer. So – for readers – it became a bit less interesting. And these days, of course, police officers don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to talk to reporters every morning about “minor” crimes. Not when there’s a police press office, a voicebank, and the internet…
      BN reporters clearly do make calls still, but the old days and ways have faded. Like you, I think it is a shame that there are very few NiBs in the BN at the moment. They make a paper feel more local, informed, engaged.

  3. Bill Stanley

    If the subs are in Weymouth how on earth do they throw a dog-eared copy of Fowler’s at the heads of dim juniors? The other great thing with making ‘calls’ , as I know you will agree, was in the making of ‘contacts’ – invaluable should a national story arrive in town and when filling in expenses claims.

    • Jonathan Hudston

      Mr Stanley – yes, I agree. I’ve worked just feet away from news & sub-editors. It is different when they’re miles away; as chains of supply & production lengthen it does seem to make mistakes more likely. A funny example: I remember once writing about the Eype’s Mouth Hotel (in Eype near Bridport); this came out distantly subbed in print – with my name on it – as The Mouth Hotel in Eype… Even now I think, No! How could you have done this?
      (Though The Mouth Hotel does sound intriguingly surreal – think what the entrance could be like – & you could have canine or molar suites… with different kinds of food…and so on)
      But remote subbing these days is not unusual – I was talking recently to a Western Gazette person about how its subbing is now done in Bristol or even Cardiff.
      As regards, contacts, again, yes. To concentrate once more just on the period when I worked for the Echo/Bridport News/Lyme Regis News, I was told plenty of things that I should not have been. “Make sure you’re at X at X o’clock and you will see X…”
      People would say to me, How did you know about this?
      What’s the old definition of news? Something that someone somewhere doesn’t want printed…

  4. Bill Stanley

    It is and I know the quote well but am blowed if I can attribute it.
    I once saw a sub sling a Remington typewriter through a, closed, third floor window. As luck would have no one was beneath it or the explanations and the paperwork would probably have taken all night!
    If the reporters are miles away how will they vent their spleens?
    That, of course, works both ways.
    I often wonder why sales of local newspapers are falling. Perhaps if they went back to being local and containing news they might pick up again. Still nothing beats yet another in-depth bridal supplement, a test of a new car, available from a garage near you, or a few handy tips on turning your garden into a whore’s parlour. Who, after all, wants to know what is going in the next street?
    We live, I am afraid to say, in a land fit for book keepers.

  5. Banjo

    “News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.”
    Lord Northcliffe

  6. Bill Stanley

    Many thanks for that Banjo – if pressed I would have said it was Mencken! Still that’s what age and a fondness for the products of the chaps at the top end of West Bay Road does for the brain.

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