The Bullivants have been in newspaper publishing for over 40 years, with such notable landmarks in their career as the Banbury Focus (one of the United Kingdom’s first freesheets) in 1970 and the Daily News (the UK’s first daily freesheet newspaper, distributed in the Birmingham area) in 1984.
In 1989 they set up a company to publish weekly freesheets across the West Midlands region. Initially called Scott Newspapers and then Telecho, it had settled on the name Herald Observer Newspapers by 1991. In 1999 it was renamed once more, to Observer Standard Newspapers – reflecting the titles of its various newspapers across the towns of the West Midlands (eg the Redditch Standard and the Solihull Observer series). At its peak it published 18 titles in the region, mostly in Warwickshire and Worcestershire but also in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull. There was even a foray into Hertfordshire and mid-Bedfordshire, the Hitchin Advertiser series; but that was sold to Iliffe News & Media in 2006.
In 2009 Observer Standard Newspapers went into liquidation. The Bullivants formed Bullivant Media Limited and were able to rescue most of their titles from closure.
A part paid-for weekly newspaper for Birmingham, the Birmingham Press, was launched in 2010 to challenge Trinity Mirror‘s Birmingham Post (which had switched to weekly publication the previous November). It closed again in October 2010, with Chris Bullivant blaming Trinity Mirror’s offer of cheap advertising to estate agents.
- Bullivant Media Limited
The Old Library
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