Dimbleby: memo to staff
David Dimbleby, chairman of the Dimbleby and Sons group of newspapers in south-west London, has promised his journalists that the proposed sale of the group to Newsquest for £8m will not affect any of their employment rights.
"All contracts of employment will be guaranteed by Newsquest in their present form," said a Dimbleby-signed memo to staff on Monday.
The sale is subject to DTI approval and Dimbleby has told staff that all the titles will continue publication.
"The sale to Newsquest is the best way of protecting the long-term future of the company. The market for newspaper advertising, particularly for paid-for newspapers, is becoming increasingly competitive," he said.
"We have done an excellent job in maintaining our position. Looking ahead, I believe that by being part of a larger group with a wider publishing base, we will secure our position in the long term."
Dimbleby is to stand down as chairman after the sale but managing director Harry Lorraine and other managers will continue to run the company.
The group, which publishes the flagship Richmond and Twickenham Times, has been owned by the Dimbleby family since 1896.
Jim Brown, executive chairman of Newsquest, said: "These are long-respected titles and we as future owners feel privileged to be acquiring them.
"We aim to build on the traditions that have been laid down by the Dimbleby family."
Some journalists within the group are hopeful of better pay and conditions under Newsquest. There has been a long history of dispute between the Dimbleby papers and the NUJ, recognition of which has been restored at a number of Newsquest titles.
By Jean Morgan