This is the link to the last ever front page of the East Kent Gazette.
- The BBC's report of the closure of the newspaper can be found here:-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-16074680
The newspaper's last edition was published on Wednesday 7th December 2011 with the headline: "GOODBYE Wednesdays won't be the same" with 10 of the front pages illustrated including its first ever one from 1855. The truth is in the writing. The EKG has not only provided a source valuable local news, it has become atreasure to the community of Sittingbourne and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, the end of the East Kent Gazette has meant the end for the Sheppey Gazette and the Medway News too. The loss has resulted in 40 jobs being cut across the board of three newspapers.
Northcliffe Media, owners of the East Kent Gazette and Kent Regional News and Media Group had been in discussions with EKG rivals the KM group over the proposed sale of seven titles, including East Kent Gazette, Sheppey Gazette and Medway News, but the deal collapsed after it was referred to the Competition Commission, and since then both the EKG and the KM group have announced redundancies. The opportunity to discuss possible community ownership after a campaign to save the Gazette was launched, and Northcliffe said it was willing to discuss the plans if a group comes up with hard evidence of funding.
The East Kent Gazette had an average weekly circulation of 13,975 in the first six months of 2011, of which 7804 were paid for.
The KM Group has announced the beginning of a new newspaper to represent Sittingbourne called "The Sittingbourne News Extra" in which editor Matt Ramsden said: "we cannot hope to replace 156 years of history". In addition, the group is considering moving into local TV after calls for more local air-time around Tonbridge and Maidstone was announced by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, after he announced that 65 towns and cities could host local TV by 2014.
A new breed is being born in Sittingbourne, and a new breed is being born in Kent. The era of the East Kent Gazette is over. The history of the newspaper must remain in the shadows. The future of Kent newspapers remains in the hands of the KM group and The Sittingbourne News Extra.