TWO of Spain’s expat newspapers have stopped publishing this week.
The Round Town News (RTN) has been closed after two decades of serving the British community in Spain.
It comes as the axe also fell on a second expat newspaper, The Sol Times, run out of Almeria.
The paper, which has been running since 2004, has also been shut after a poor year of business.
Both publications were taken over by the Euro Weekly News Media Group, last year, however initial plans to make the newspapers profitable backfired.
Steven Euesden, the media group’s sales director, claimed ‘the popularity of the Euro Weekly News’ was the reason for the titles folding.
“We have decided to put all of EWN Media Group’s efforts and resources into the Euro Weekly News,” his statement on the EWN website read, with a picture showing him celebrating with champagne.
It comes after a record Autumn for The Olive Press, both in terms of sales and online views, with nearly one million hits on our website in October.
Despite the success of The Olive Press, Euesden added: “We feel sorry for all of the other publications in the marketplace trying to make headway against us.”
The RTN, which set up in 1999, was voted the second best expat paper in Spain last year after The Olive Press, which came first in the TESCA awards.
The London TESCA awards are voted for by tens of thousands of expats around Europe.
The Round Town News, better known to most people as the RTN, was established by businessman Geoff Gartland, and was an innovative paper with popular columnists, as well eye-catching designs and an extensive use of colour, which was ahead of the pack.
The RTN was also never afraid to dig to find the truth behind stories thanks to staff who had a track record in real journalism, including the much-missed Louise Clarke.
The paper was bought by Euro Weekly in February 2017, describing the RTN as reaching ‘the very heart of the community’ and ‘a highly trusted name in Spain’.
Gartland’s son, Danny Wilkinson, who later ran the paper, said: “This is a very sad for everybody. Unfortunately, the new version of the RTN was never going to be the same as the original”.
Meanwhile, one long-term client, who has used the RTN for year, said: “It is incredibly sad that it has been allowed to collapse in this way. It was once a very popular paper, with a loyal following, but that has changed massively over the last couple of years.”
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