Iliffe buys Cambridge papers from Johnston Press

Cambridge Newspapers, part of Iliffe News and Media, has continued its expansion by buying four free titles from Johnston Press – but jobs could go.

The free weekly Town Crier series has editions in St Neots, St Ives and Huntingdon, and also publishes the monthly St Neots Community News. The series has a distribution of 43,000 and a readership of 64,000.

David Fordham [pictured], chief executive of Iliffe News and Media, told Press Gazette this morning the Town Criers would merge with the existing St Neots Weekly News, and Huntingdon and St Ives Weekly News.

When asked if the mergers meant editorial job losses, Fordham said: “It’s too early to tell what the consequences might be.” He added distributors were likely to be affected.

The new titles’ name is expected to be the News and Crier.

It is the latest in a series of aquisitions from Iliffe – one of the few media companies buying any titles at present.

In November, Iliffe bought the Northampton Herald and Post series, comprising four titles, from Trinity Mirror.

In April, it launched a free weekly, The Nuneaton Observer, with Observer Standard Newspapers.

But in November, it announced plans to cut around 80 jobs at Cambridge Newspapers and Staffordshire Newspapers.

Further restructuring, involving the merger of LSN Media with Staffordshire Newspapers, and Cambridge Newspapers with Herts & Essex Newspapers, was announced in December.

On the new titles, Fordham said: ‘We are very pleased to have acquired The Crier series of newspapers in what we regard as an important territory for us.

‘Although trading conditions are extremely difficult at the present time, we firmly believe that over a period of time this acquisition will ultimately strengthen our publishing position in these markets.”

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