Western Morning News

The Western Morning News is a daily regional newspaper founded in 1860, and covering the West Country including Devon, Cornwall, Isles of Scilly and parts of Somerset and Dorset in the South West of England.

Western Morning News
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Local World
EditorBill Martin
Founded3 January 1860
Political alignmentIndependent right-of-centre; historically Liberal
HeadquartersMillbay Road, Plymouth
Sister newspapersThe Herald


The Western Morning News is published by South West Media Group (formerly known as Westcountry Publications), a division of Local World.[1] Its main office is based in Plymouth and it has journalists based in newsdesks in Exeter, Truro, Penzance and Plymouth.[2] It also has a London editor based in Westminster. Bill Martin is editor of the Western Morning News, while Philip Bowern is print editor.


The Western Morning News was founded by William Saunders and Edward Spender, father of Sir Wilfrid Spender, on 3 January 1860.[3] It has been published continuously since the first edition, including throughout the 1926 General Strike and the Plymouth Blitz.[3] By 1920, the Devon newspaper market was getting cramped, with all papers running into financial difficulties. In the same year, Sir Leicester Harmsworth acquired the Western Morning News; from 1 February 1921, the Western Daily Mercury and Western Evening Herald were also taken over, with the papers continuing to be published from the old Mercury offices in Frankfort Street. Shortly before World War II, new offices were constructed on the same site after the demolition of the previous premises; the modern construction allowed the offices to survive the Blitz and publishing continued there until the move to Derriford.

On 8 February 1997, the Western Morning News followed most local newspapers in the UK and changed format from broadsheet to tabloid. In 2012, Local World acquired the ownership of Northcliffe Media from Daily Mail and General Trust,[4] The paper had a short-lived Sunday edition from June 2014 until January 2016.[5]

Readership and website

The Western Morning News is published six days a week and aims to provide readers with regional, national and international news with a consistent editorial standpoint. Supplements cover a range of topics, including:

  • Westcountry Farming (Wednesday)
  • Westcountry Business (Thursday)
  • Westcountry Motoring (Friday)
  • Westcountry Horses (Friday)
  • Westcountry Antiques (Saturday)
  • Westcountry Property (Saturday)
  • Westcountry Weekend (Saturday)

In literature

Sherlock Holmes: "The detection of [printing] types is one of the most elementary branches of knowledge to the special expert in crime, though I confess that once when I was very young I confused the Leeds Mercury with the Western Morning News." (The Hound of the Baskervilles, Ch. 5).

See also


  1. "Plymouth — Western Morning News". abc. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  2. "Morning News reporters back in Exeter bureau". Western Morning News. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  3. Moseley, Brian (23 May 2011). "Western Morning News". The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  4. Daily Mail sells regional newspapers to Local World BBC News, 21 November 2012.
  5. "Western Morning News on Sunday scrapped and 'handful' of jobs to go". BBC News. 7 January 2016.

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