Oldham Evening Chronicle folds after 163 years as 'majority' of its 49 staff made redundant

The Oldham Evening Chronicle has gone into administration with the majority of its 49 staff made redundant and the daily paper, first established in 1854, ceasing publication.

In a statement today, financial services company KPMG said it had been appointed as the administrator for Chronicle publisher Hirst, Kidd and Rennie.

It said: “Production of the Oldham Evening Chronicle and its companion publications has ceased and regrettably the majority of the staff have been made redundant.”

As well as the Chronicle, the company also published four monthly free titles, including the Oldham Extra, Saddleworth Extra, Tameside Extra and the Dale Times, and three quarterly A4 magazines: Oldham Business Edge, The Knowledge and Primary Knowledge.

Paul Flint, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “The company was faced with an increasing deficit in its defined benefits pension scheme in addition to the challenging trading conditions arising from the changing nature of the local media landscape.

“Unfortunately despite a rigorous sales process, a buyer for this long standing paper has not been found and it’s not commercially viable to continue operating.”

KPMG has said it will work to support employees through the redundancy process.

It added: “We are also seeking buyers for the assets of the business, including the newspaper title to try and ensure its heritage will be preserved and continued.”

A notice on the Oldham Chornicle’s website reads: “The business has, unfortunately, ceased trading on the administrators’ appointment. This website will not be updated until further notice.”

The publisher also operated a promotions facility – Reader Holidays – in conjunction with a number of partners in the travel sector. With deposits paid to be “refunded in due course”.

The paid-for Chronicle had a daily circulation of 6,408, according to ABC figures to June. It has been experiencing steady circulation decline since 2000 when it sold more than 30,000 copies a day.

Comments

9 thoughts on “Oldham Evening Chronicle folds after 163 years as 'majority' of its 49 staff made redundant”

  1. Somebody will come up wth something to save it get your hands in your pockets you lot and have a whip round you multi millionaires around oldham and beyond who come from Oldham those who started there career at the chronicle.

  2. If the Oldham Evening Chronicle was such a cracking read, then surely it would have sold more than 6,500 copies each night. In truth, it was a poorly laid out newspaper and, judging by some of the comments on here, afraid of tackling the true issues of Oldham. Certainly those behind it seem to have had little foresight in heading off what looked to be inevitable: its closure. They could have taken it weekly a few years ago and concentrated on upgrading the equally poor website to capture daily readers. But they didn’t. And that’s the thing. The newspaper industry has been slow to move on and what strikes me more than anything is how backward looking many journalists have been with regards to the internet which they saw as a threat as soon as it began to make an impact. It could so easily have been the saviour of many a job if they had embraced it properly from the start. Instead, many journalists saw the internet as a dumping ground for stories that wouldn’t make it into print along with poorly-produced video and silly clickbait. The owners saw it as an sideline revenue source rather than a core but the truth is, the web can sustain many journalism jobs: look at Buzzfeed and The Independent. Local papers missed the boat to a large extent or came to it late and still refuse to let go of print. The best Oldham can hope for now is that some enterprising journalists get together and produce an online newspaper for the town. The world has changed and we older hands really ought to be catching up.

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