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41 minutes ago, Amber Avenger said:

A fair question, and I did think perhaps it wasn't quite the right choice of words. I'm not suggesting  - as some might if they see something they like on the wrong Monday morning - that it's an RFL propaganda sheet, so in that sense perhaps I can see why you might think me saying LE being part of the establishment is unfair criticism.

Perhaps "part of the furniture" is more appropriate? It's the market leader and you know where you stand certainly and it's a comfortable read but any criticism of the game is more muted than both of the main rivals mentioned in the Guardian article. To be clear, I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but it's clearly different. Nothing wrong with that, and there is a place for that and it clearly works very well. 

I would certainly agree LE has more clout than League Weekly ever had - the old joke was any news that was in Weekly but not Express might be of dubious quality, but to me looking at the Elstone example are you just greasing wheels already in motion? I genuinely don't know. I think because LE has that clout I always think it can do more - eg The Bulls/Forty-20 example I posted above, was very critical of many people still in the game and plenty who aren't and I can't imagine anything similar appearing in LE (and I have read everything about the subject going) but I realise they are separate periodicals with separate resources. I'm sure I'm leaving myself open to accusations of bias, and it's really not about that one issue, but it comes easily to mind for me.

I'm not saying LE isn't an enjoyable or worthy publication I hope you understand, but I couldn't particularly describe it as consistently hard hitting and maybe you wouldn't either. Not everything has to be. 

To ask a question you'd be well within your rights not to answer - how do you feel about the demise of "the other paper"? Whilst I'm sure some extra sales have come your way, it's hard times for everyone. Did the competition keep you sharp?

We've been around a long time, I suppose, but again I would take you up on one of your comments.

What do you mean by 'criticism of the game'?

By 'the game', do you mean the people who run it, or 'the game' in a wider sense?1

If it's the former, then we are far more critical of those who run it than anyone else, and by that I mean justified and reasoned criticism, not just ranting for the sake of doing so.

Bradford Bulls is a very interesting subject.

I have a lot of documentation about the Bulls going back many years, and, because the club went under owing me a lot of money, I had far more insight than most people into the nature of what happened there over time and under successive boards of directors.

The blame for what happened isn't necessarily as clear cut as some would have you believe.

It was an immensely complicated situation that would merit a book of its own, although it would take a brave man or woman to write it, because you would be risking some major law suits.

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'Sales of the union monthly have halved since 2013 to 17,000-per-month last year – before the pandemic.' All that hard work in WH Smith is paying off, lads. Well done! 

Yes it will. But only when the time is right.  We suspended publication of the mag because the bottom fell out of the market as a result of the pandemic, and we decided to concentrate our re

Interesting article. Very surprised at the sales figures quoted! I published a magazine called Thirteen in 2005, which lasted six months. I then joined LPL to edit RLW, which I did for three seas

8 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

It was an immensely complicated situation that would merit a book of its own, although it would take a brave man or woman to write it, because you would be risking some major law suits.

Well, Martyn, don't bring any of that on here or it'll become the TotalBull Forum!

"They are what we thought they were." Danny Green

 

 

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I think Amber Avenger meant League Weekly had a slightly irreverent tone that reflected the 'shoot from the lip' personality of Danny Lockwood whereas the League Express style is more 'straight', some might say dry.

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16 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

'shoot from the lip' personality of Danny Lockwood

Mmmmmm!

"They are what we thought they were." Danny Green

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

I think Amber Avenger meant League Weekly had a slightly irreverent tone that reflected the 'shoot from the lip' personality of Danny Lockwood whereas the League Express style is more 'straight', some might say dry.

Depends who he is shooting at and what he is publishing.

I'm surprised that the new Rugby League Live, who don't even have that as their Twitter handle, haven't done more video/audio to say they promised to be more digital. Seems a bit of an own goal with how many consume their media these days.

 

Us who just read are old fogies! 😀

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38 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

We've been around a long time, I suppose, but again I would take you up on one of your comments.

What do you mean by 'criticism of the game'?

By 'the game', do you mean the people who run it, or 'the game' in a wider sense?1

If it's the former, then we are far more critical of those who run it than anyone else, and by that I mean justified and reasoned criticism, not just ranting for the sake of doing so.

Bradford Bulls is a very interesting subject.

I have a lot of documentation about the Bulls going back many years, and, because the club went under owing me a lot of money, I had far more insight than most people into the nature of what happened there over time and under successive boards of directors.

The blame for what happened isn't necessarily as clear cut as some would have you believe.

It was an immensely complicated situation that would merit a book of its own, although it would take a brave man or woman to write it, because you would be risking some major law suits.

I wouldn't expect you to suggest your own content was anything except justifiable. I know what you are getting at with the rants but of course one man's rant, could be another's justifiable comment and for that reason I can't completely agree and don't expect we'll concede any middle ground here. 

I totally agree there is a book in the Bulls situation. Not posted about it here properly in years - and don't intend to start now - but it's hopefully reflected in my posting history that I've also believed for a long time it hasnt been clear. To sound like a broken record, the report in Forty 20 made it clear as it could without straying into those legal issues that the blame lay at the door of dozens of different stakeholders. Anyway its clearly a conversation for another day. 

 

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Play off mini league winner - 2002. Bronze Medalist - 2003. Big Split Group Winner - 2006. Minor Stupidship - 2005, 2006. Cup Silver Medalist - 2008, 2009

CHAMPION - 2005, 2009, 2010

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17 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

I hope the bloke who sells Rugby League World at Headingley makes it to the first game back

is this the same bloke who sold open rugby mags and programmes in the 80s? bit of a character and well known to the crowd- although i would suspect if it is he would be getting on a bit now, was he called John?

did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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22 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

is this the same bloke who sold open rugby mags and programmes in the 80s? bit of a character and well known to the crowd- although i would suspect if it is he would be getting on a bit now, was he called John?

I assume so my Dad said he has been there as long as he's been going (80s). He's a fixture of my matchday experience.

Saw him on a bus in Wakefield once and it was like seeing a teacher outside of school

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6 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I assume so my Dad said he has been there as long as he's been going (80s). He's a fixture of my matchday experience.

Saw him on a bus in Wakefield once and it was like seeing a teacher outside of school

i would have put him in his 40s back in the 80s but people looked different then so if it is the same guy he must have been younger, maybe he should have his own thread? 

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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Is there a modern day Stanley Chadwick?

Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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2 hours ago, graveyard johnny said:

is this the same bloke who sold open rugby mags and programmes in the 80s? bit of a character and well known to the crowd- although i would suspect if it is he would be getting on a bit now, was he called John?

It's John Brook. Yes he's getting on a bit but he still gets out and about - at least pre-pandemic. Despite relying on the bus to get everywhere he gets around a lot, couple of times I've seen him wandering around in Leeds miles and miles from where he lives. He's a legend - and, on topic, still refers to RLW as Open Rugby 🙂

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5 hours ago, M j M said:

and, on topic, still refers to RLW as Open Rugby

♥️

"They are what we thought they were." Danny Green

 

 

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15 hours ago, Nate90 said:

Also if I was in a non rugby league area and I had read my copy I would leave it around so other people could read it.

 

I completed an under cover mission at my local Cornwall based dentist pre covid.

Hid the horse & hound and fancy houses mags behind a toothpaste placard.

Carefully arranged half a dozen old copies of Rugby League World on the table.

Some local in a tweed jacket came in, picked one up and actually started reading it.

He's probably down the Farmers Market wearing a Cas Shirt now.

Job done 👍😄

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1 hour ago, Ramon Rojo said:

Carefully arranged half a dozen old copies of Rugby League World on the table.

💕

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"They are what we thought they were." Danny Green

 

 

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Just to add that I subscribe to the electronic version of LE and find it to be just as readable as bits of paper. I think that the publishers have done a remarkable job in maintaining their standards and keeping me happy when there has been so little real RL news to chew upon. MS was probably quite thankful for the Toronto saga in keeping the pages filled for so long.  

😋

Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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Interesting article. Very surprised at the sales figures quoted!

I published a magazine called Thirteen in 2005, which lasted six months. I then joined LPL to edit RLW, which I did for three seasons (2007, 2008 & 2009). I worked on the League Express newsdesk as well, up to about 2011. Since then, I've not had a Super League press pass and have just done one or two articles a week from home, including On This Day and Rugby League Heroes, which is still running. Writing about something you love is an awesome thing to do and I'd recommend it to anyone. 

One observation though. The one thing that was a constant when I was a full-time writer (2005-11) was that I always had such a bad relationship with the RFL. They certainly seemed to want my magazine to disappear in 2005. They couldn't have been any more hostile to me - and that certainly wasn't based on anything I wrote. They just treated me as an inconvenience and I suppose they knew it would ultimately fail. There was one incident that still makes me shake my head with disbelief.

When I joined LPL, I hoped or a better relationship with them. Fat chance! I just worked for the trade press. We were bottom of the food chain. They had just withdrawn advertising from both LE and RLW, deciding to give it all to League Weekly for several years. From what I could gather, they would seethe at articles written by Martyn or myself but would never get in touch to talk about them or never try to form a good relationship with us. I suppose that made it easier to criticise them, but I always tried to be fair and objective.

I don't think LPL are conservative. And we certainly weren't when I worked full time there. But it's still a difficult balance to strike. Most of the criticism that came my way from fans (and there was a lot!) centred around me being 'negative'. I didn't agree with that, but it came from me writing critical pieces - holding people to account you could say, which is then what the other 50% of fans criticise you for not doing just because you don't single-handedly uncover something akin to Watergate every week. I may be biased, but I think LPL gets the balance right and they have an outstanding track record of producing great publications which have always been market leaders in rugby league. 

 

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44 minutes ago, Richard de la Riviere said:

I published a magazine called Thirteen in 2005, which lasted six months

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A real loss to the Game IMO, Richard

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"They are what we thought they were." Danny Green

 

 

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On 18/02/2021 at 15:09, Martyn Sadler said:

"League Express tends to lean towards conservatism, whereas League Weekly was ..... happy to have a dig and question the status quo."

It's a long time since I've read a sentence that was more factually inaccurate.

 

League Weekly for those who cannot remember was set up by former Rugby Leaguer staff when LPL bought the title and unlike LE has been consistently anti-expansion so much so that IIRC during the noughties the private company that was ruiing London's RL shop at the time withdrew adertising over it.

More interestingly I would like to ask what is the target audience for RLW.

Forty Twenty sets itself up as a fanzine more than a proper magazine with a lot of opinion pieces.

Rugby League Journal written by Harry Edgar, the grand old man of RL Journalism, caters for a niche market for fans who remember Rugby League from way back. A sort of League equivalent of Backpass the retro soccer magazine.

The Internet and boards like TRL are beginning to kill the print media because it allows for instant, even if unrepresetative, reaction to issues as they occur.

RLW for me is dated almost as soon as it comes out and does not seem to have an identity of its own.

There are a number of issues on this forum as I write, that would benefit from a serious and forensic approach, such as the Bradford Bulls  saga, bearing in mind of course the laws of libel which across many sports inhibit publication. The clash here is if your on to something where does it appear LE or RLW ?

While I am sure you are aware that some of those posters who spend a lot of time on here are "positive posts only" types and obsessed. It's actually knocking copy that sells. I once had a chat with one of the editors of an Arsenal Soccer fanzine and as soon as the club started winning interest in the fanzines waned. It's also significant that some of the more long running RL fanzines such as The Scarlet Turkey and Aye of the Tiger were written by fans of unsuccessful clubs with a lot to be concerned about.

The only club that bucked the trend on being both successful and having a long running fanzine was St Helens with Free Mike McLennan and Split Fish and Curry but then St Helens have always been blessed with fans that can write elequently about the game.

So I return to my question what is the target audience for RLW and how does it differ from the readership of Forty Twenty, Rugby League Journal and League Express - What is RLW's unique selling point ?

 

 

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When the pinch comes the common people will turn out to be more intelligent than the clever ones. I certainly hope so.

George Orwell
 

 

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23 hours ago, RS said:

Tony Lazenby

In between the Bond movie and the one with Sylvia Kristel?

 

2 hours ago, THE RED ROOSTER said:

So I return to my question what is the target audience for RLW and how does it differ from the readership of Forty Twenty, Rugby League Journal and League Express - What is RLW's unique selling point ?

Good question and you're in the right place to get half the answers.

I loved TGG too a real Mag for TGG fans and the game as a whole.

Edited by Oxford

"They are what we thought they were." Danny Green

 

 

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21 hours ago, M j M said:

It's John Brook. Yes he's getting on a bit but he still gets out and about - at least pre-pandemic. Despite relying on the bus to get everywhere he gets around a lot, couple of times I've seen him wandering around in Leeds miles and miles from where he lives. He's a legend - and, on topic, still refers to RLW as Open Rugby 🙂

 £2 each or 2 for a fiver swear i once saw a widnes fan take him up on that offer and cas fan once.

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It was always good to have two weekly papers to make up for the pitiful coverage in the national press.

 

Sad to lose League Weekly and always made a beeline straight to Nosey Parkers rumours page which was frequently first with stories in the pre broadband internet era. 
 

Have to admit that the Lockwood publishing empire sinking is karmic given his inclinations but I won’t push this point any further.

RLW is a quality monthly and would be welcome for it to return.

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League Weekly used to be called the Rugby Leaguer.

I think around 1999 they produced a souvenir replica of the first copy, which I possibly have somewhere but it might have been lost in various house moves. Anyway, one thing I recall from it was a letter (or possibly article) bemoaning the lack of coverage for RL. 
 

At least things have changed from those days.

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TGG was good, (not just sucking up to the moderator.)

As a general RL fanzine though The Final Hooter was by far my favourite. Used to trek from Leeds to Manchester Sportspages to get hold of it (for all I know there was somewhere nearer selling it but this was before you'd find out on the internet). And then it stopped being there when I went. And then after a while Sportspages wasn't there either!

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