A new press regulator due to be launched by the industry next spring has been backed by more than 90% of national newspapers.
Publishers met to sign contracts establishing the "tough and effective" new Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), industry leaders said.
Earlier this month press reform campaigners attempted to persuade regional newspapers to shun the plans in favour of a watchdog backed by royal charter but most have supported the new self-regulatory system, which is expected to be up and running by May 1 next year.
Paul Vickers, chairman of the industry implementation group, said: " Publishers from across the national, regional, local and periodical press have been meeting today to sign contracts to establish the new Independent Press Standards Organisation.
" The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with publishers representing more than 90% of the national press and the vast majority of the regional press, along with major magazine publishers, signing.
"T his is an important milestone in the process of setting up the UK's new self-regulatory system.
"We will therefore now move to complete the full implementation of Ipso - which will be an independent, tough and effective regulator fully in line with the principles of the Leveson Report - by May 1 next year.
" Independent appointments procedures for Ipso are also under way and further announcements on the application and selection timetable will be made in due course by Sir Hayden Phillips."
A royal charter on press regulation was sealed by the Queen following a meeting with Government ministers in the Privy Council but industry leaders claimed the move wiped out 300 years of press freedom.
Instead they are pushing ahead with the creation of Ipso, which will not have any formal verification.
Publishers that have so far signed up include Northern & Shell, Telegraph Media Group, Associated, News UK, Trinity Mirror, Newsquest Media Group, Local World, Archant, and Tindle Newspapers.
The Financial Times, the Guardian and the Independent were not among those listed as having signed up.
Lord Hunt of Wirral, chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, said the successor body would be "independent and effective" and "in accordance with Leveson principles".
Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: "This is a welcome and hugely significant development for the press and the public.
"It is an important milestone in the establishment of a tough, new system of regulation.
"Leveson said this would be the ideal outcome."