Its history goes back to 1883, when it was founded as the Rawtenstall Free Press and Haslingden and Rossendale Observer. In 1965 it absorbed no fewer than four other newspapers:
- The Bacup Times (founded in 1865 as the Bacup Times and Rossendale Advertiser)
- The Ramsbottom Observer (founded April 1890)
- The Haslingden Guardian (founded September 1890)
- The Bacup Chronicle and Stacksteads & District News (founded 1902)
It’s now published by Greater Manchester Weekly Newspaper Group, a subdivision of MEN Media Ltd, which itself became part of Trinity Mirror in March 2010 after they bought it from the Guardian Media Group. The editorial offices in Rawtenstall closed following the consolidation of MEN Media’s operations in central Manchester in May 2009; all their titles moved to Chadderton on the outskirts of Oldham in September 2010.
Like the rest of MEN Media’s titles, its web presence underwent a change in January 2013; however, unlike most of them (and indeed most of Trinity Mirror’s weekly titles), it was given its own website and its own separate domain.
It comes out on Fridays.