Western Morning News
Western Morning News front page, February 18 2023
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Reach Plc
EditorCharlie Elder
Founded3 January 1860
Political alignmentIndependent;[citation needed] historically Liberal
HeadquartersMillbay Road, Plymouth
Circulation7,326 (as of 2022)[1]
Sister newspapersThe Herald
Western Morning News January 7 2023
Western Morning News front page, January 7 2023
Western Morning News front page, December 3 1918
Western Morning News front page, December 3 1918

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


The Western Morning News is published by Reach Plc. Its main office is based in Plymouth. Charlie Elder is Editor.


The Western Morning News was founded on 3 January 1860, by William Saunders and Edward Spender, father of Sir Wilfrid Spender. It has been published continuously since the first edition, including throughout the 1926 General Strike and the Plymouth Blitz.[2] 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, Plymouth. 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 a move in 1993 to a purpose-built building in Derriford, Plymouth, designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw. In 2013, the Western Morning News and sister title The Herald (Plymouth) moved into offices in Millbay Road in the centre of the city.

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,[3] The paper had a Sunday edition from June 2014 until January 2016.[4] In November 2015, Trinity Mirror purchased Local World. In 2018 Trinity Mirror rebranded as Reach Plc. Reach Plc is one of Britain's biggest newspaper groups. Previous editors of the Western Morning News include Colin Davidson, Barrie Williams, Alan Qualtrough, Bill Martin and Philip Bowern.

Readership and website

The Western Morning News is published six days a week and provides readers with regional, national and international news. Supplements cover a range of topics, including Farming on Wednesday and Property in the Saturday edition, which also includes Antiques, Puzzles and lifestyle magazine West. The newspaper's Reach Plc sister websites in the Westcountry are www.devonlive.com, www.cornwalllive.com and www.plymouthlive.co.uk.

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". Audit Bureau of Circulations (UK). 30 January 2023. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Daily Mail sells regional newspapers to Local World". BBC News. 21 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Western Morning News on Sunday scrapped and 'handful' of jobs to go". BBC News. 6 January 2016.