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The Bolton News - formerly the Bolton Evening News - is a daily newspaper covering the towns of Bolton, Bury and Leigh in north-western England. Coming out every morning Monday to Saturday, it is part of the Newsquest media group, a subsidiary of the U.S media giant Gannett Inc.

(c) Newsquest

Briefly

The editor-in-chief of The Bolton News is Ian Savage, who also presides over the paid-for weeklies Bury Times, Radcliffe Times and Prestwich and Whitefield Guide as well as the free weeklies Bolton Journal and Bury Journal.

The Bolton News has an approximate circulation of 27,540. In 2006, the Bolton Evening News became The Bolton News, which saw the newspaper being sold from the morning onwards. It considered several names, including Bolton Daily News and Bolton News. Newsquest bought these internet domain names in May 2006.

The Bolton News' deputy editor is Lynn Ashwell. The assistant editor (news) is James Higgins, the sports editor is David Magilton and the assistant editor (features) is Andrew Mosley. The website, theboltonnews.co.uk is run by multimedia editor David Crookes. It has 138,556 monthly unique users. Michael Crutchley is the chief sub.

In Depth

(c) Newsquest

The Bolton Evening News was Britain's first community evening halfpenny newspaper. The only other evening paper to publish before The Bolton Evening News was the Shipping Gazette in South Shields.

The very first edition of The Bolton Evening News was founded by the Tillotson family and was published on Tuesday March 19, 1867 - with the front page entirely devoted to adverts.

But the origins of the paper stretch way back to 1834 when John Tillotson was apprenticed to printer Robert Marsden Holden, who had premises in Mealhouse Lane, Bolton.

Tillotson eventually married his boss's daughter and took over the business in 1850. His son, William Frederick Tillotson, became apprenticed to his father.

He managed to persuade his father to help him launch the first Bolton Evening News which stretched to four pages.

Severe difficulties dogged WF Tillotson's early enterprise but he persevered and the Evening News really took off under the first editor William Brimelow.

Legend has it that the job application process then could be traumatic. Brimelow is said to have had a habit of throwing a book on the ground just as potential applicants entered the office to see what their reaction was.

Following on from the success of the evening paper the weekly Journals followed: Bolton Journal and Guardian 1871, Farnworth Weekly Journal 1873, Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton Journal 1874, Eccles and Patricroft Journal 1874, Horwich and Westhoughton Journal 1925, and the Stretford and Urmston in 1960.

In addition to the newspaper the Tillotson family also developed their general printing and carton making businesses.

The paper went from strength to strength and outgrew its primitive origins in a hand-fed printer and in 1876 a Victory printing and folding machine was acquired with a capacity of printing 16,000 copies an hour.

The Tillotsons remained owners of the Evening News into the latter part of the 20th century, but the days of family-owned newspapers were drawing to a close and in 1971 the Tillotsons sold the company to St Regis International of New York.

From then on change happened rapidly. St Regis sold the group to Reed International in 1982 and the Bolton Evening News became the largest of its titles.

In 1987 the paper relocated to its present building - Newspaper House in Churchgate and the old building in Mealhouse Lane became the Shipgates shopping centre, later becoming part of Crompton Place shopping arcade.

In September 2006 the paper was renamed The Bolton News. The rename came about as the paper is now delivered from the morning onwards.

On June 11 2009, the sub-editors in the editorial department were moved to Blackburn, working from the offices of the Lancashire Telegraph. It meant the production of pages for The Bolton News were created away from Bolton for the first time in the publication's history.

At the start of 2009, the Bury Times operation was merged with The Bolton News. Although two reporters are located in Bury, the newspaper is now largely produced in Bolton and Blackburn, a move which causes major controversy in the town and lead to protests against Newsquest.

History of The Bolton News

  • 1867: Bolton Evening News launched on March 19 by W F Tillotson, first halfpenny evening paper in the country, in Mawdsley Street.
  • 1868: Founder members of Press Association.
  • 1889: W F Tillotson dies at the age of 44.
  • 1894: First daily newspaper in Britain to produce a photograph by the halftone process.
  • 1926: One of the first offices outside London to be equipped with Cread-Wheatstone apparatus which bought both home and foreign news over a landline into the offices.
  • 1956: Fred Tillotson, son of W F, retired, having guided the company both as director and chairman (and on a couple of occasions as editor) since 1901.
  • 1962: The Evening News made newspaper history when, for first time in a British paper, all editions contained a full-page printed in Hi-Fi colour.
  • 1967: Bolton Evening News named as country's best designed newspaper.
  • 1971: Tillotsons Ltd. bought by St Regis Paper Company of New York, and Marcus Tillotson, the last of the founding family to be connected with the Bolton Evening News and Chairman since 1956, retired.
  • 1976: Old hot metal process of production replaced by computerised photo-setting.
  • 1982: Company sold to Reed International.
  • 1985: A historic breakthrough in newspaper production when company signed a single-keying agreement with its National Graphical Association tele-ad staff, first of its kind in the UK provincial newspaper industry.
  • 1987: The company relocated from Mealhouse Lane to Newspaper House in Churchgate. At same time the paper opened an out-of-town publishing centre at Lostock, and converted from letterpress to printing web-offset.
  • 1989: Full electronic page make-up introduced, making company first in the world to achieve the complete electronic newspaper where stories, photographs and advertisement processed by computer from the moment of compilation almost to point where paper is printed.
  • 1991: As company ownership of newspapers expands rapidly, the Lancashire Evening Telegraph and its associated weekly newspapers were bought from Thomson Newspapers, also to be printed at Bolton.
  • 1996: Newsquest founded in management buy-out from Reed.
  • 1996: Bolton Evening News website - thisisbolton.co.uk is launched.
  • 1999: Newsquest became part of Gannett.
  • 2001: Printing presses opened at Wingates Industrial Estate.
  • 2005: Marcus Tillotson dies at the age of 89.
  • 2006: The newspaper's name is changed to The Bolton News to reflect changing reader habits and lifestyles.
  • 2008: Website re-launched with new look as www.theboltonnews.co.uk
  • 2009: The £17m, purpose built printing facility at Wingates Industrial Estate, Bolton closes. Printing of The Bolton News moves to North Wales.
  • 2009: The sub-editors in the editorial department move to Blackburn.
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