As the subject of regional press ownership is again a subject of debate – we chart a decade of Press Gazette’s coverage of the UK’s fourth biggest local newspaper publisher, Newsquest.
The group publishes 191 titles and, as this interactive timeline shows, it has often been a controversial owner. There have been frequent strike action as journalists have complained about redundancies and low pay.
Most recently, an ongoing pay freeze and reduction in pensions benefits has prompted a wave of strikes.
Last week DMGT finance chief Peter Williams said more consolidation was needed in the regional press (though he noted that his company’s Northcliffe local newspapers division would not be doing the consolidating).
Many journalists fear that the record of big publishers such as Newsquest, Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror is one of cost-cutting in pursuit of high profit margins which undermine the long-term future of the businesses. There are concerns, as raised today by independent publisher Paul Henderson, that this trend would just continue if these national conglomerates were allowed to get even bigger.
Most of the work for this timeline was done by Linda Sharkey. (Note, it is possible to view the timeline events on a map – but due to glitch in the third-party software, only one event is listed on the map per location).