Free paper publisher Bullivant interested in Trinity's Midlands titles

Free newspaper publisher Chris Bullivant has announced he is hoping
to bid for Trinity Mirror’s Midland titles which were put up for sale
at the end of last year.

Speaking this morning at a National
Union of Journalists’ breakfast meeting chaired by union president
Chris Morley, Bullivant said if he owned the titles he would avoid
“recycled Reuters news” and pledged that quality journalism would be a
priority.

Trinity Mirror is this week due to issue financial
information to parties interested in buying the titles it put up for
sale, including its Midlands papers, sports division (including the
Racing Post) and Southern division (which includes the South London
Press).

Bullivant, whose publishing company Observer Standard Newspapers currently owns 19 titles in the Midlands,
told Press Gazette: “I have been battling against these titles for the
last 30 years and I believe I can make a success of them.”

In 1985, Bullivant launched a daily free paper in Birmingham, the Daily News, which was bought out by Trinity Mirror.

The NUJ organised the meeting, as part of its Journalism Matters campaign,
with business chiefs including former CBI chief Sir Digby Jones,
politicians, trade union leaders and journalists to discuss the future
of quality journalism in the Midlands.

Morley said: “One of the
greatest commitments for any new owner has to be more resources for
quality journalism and journalistic integrity. Quality journalism
doesn’t come cheap but it is central.” He also called for any new owner
to have “concern for more than the bottom line”.

Barbara
Goulden, from the Coventry Newspapers NUJ chapel, and Martin Warrilo
from the Birmingham Post and Mail chapel explained how the cuts made by
successive owners had resulted in too few journalists on their
respective titles to cover all the stones that needed covering.

Morley
responded: “Of course we want to safeguard jobs but our interest is
also in working with others in the provision of good quality newspapers
that serve the interests of their community.”

An Early Day Motion supporting the NUJ’s campaign has been tabled by Stourbridge MP Linda Waltho.

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