It seems that not even privately owned regional newspaper businesses are immune from a downturn in advertising and the credit crunch: Holdthefrontpage tells us that Guardian Media Group is to merge several of its Greater Manchester weekly newspapers offices, with a net loss of six.
The Heywood Advertiser, Middleton Guardian and papers in Didsbury, Beswick and Accrington will lose their offices and be moved to neighbouring offices. The Wilmslow Express in Cheshire is to move from Wilmslow to the Macclesfield Express -a distance of 7 miles, according to Google Maps.
HTTP reports that staff from the Beswick office could be moved to the Tameside Advertiser, based in my hometown of Ashton-Under-Lyne, a good six miles away.
GMG has 22 weeklies in and around Manchester, which are part of the MEN Media Group, and it says that the moves will not result in any fewer journalists or any “loss of focus” in the local market.