Merger creates biggest group in Northern Ireland

Two newspaper groups have merged to form the largest newspaper company in Northern Ireland.

Alpha, which has eight titles in Antrim, Armagh, Down and Tyrone as well as Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland, has acquired the share capital of Northern, which publishes throughout Antrim and Londonderry.

Northern’s stable of newspapers includes the Ballymena Guardian, Antrim Guardian, Northern Constitution and Coleraine Chronicle.

The new company, which has been named Northern Alpha Newspaper Group, will be chaired by Lord Kilclooney who said he believes it to be a natural marriage between Alpha in the south and west of Northern Ireland and Northern in the north and the east.

“Together they will be the largest weekly newspaper group in Northern Ireland as well as having sales in Donegal and Monaghan in the Republic,” he said. “Local newspapers must be local and it is good that the Northern Group titles will remain locally-owned within Northern Ireland.”

The group publishes two free titles: The Leader in the north and the Armagh Advertiser in the south. Bertie Troy of the Northern Newspaper Group will continue to be a director.

By Jean Morgan

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