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JPI Media set to close ten local newspapers across UK

JPI Media

JPI Media has unveiled plans to axe a further ten regional newspapers, from Portsmouth to Glasgow, as it looks to shore up the “long-term stability of the business”.

The regional publisher said no jobs would be lost as a result of the closures with staff moving to work at its other titles.

The shuttered newspapers comprise paid-for weekly titles:

  • Morley Observer and Advertiser
  • Tyrone Times
  • Epworth Bells
  • Hawick News
  • Selkirk Weekend Advertiser
  • (and the Tuesday edition of the bi-weekly Burnley Express).

Also closing are free weeklies:

  • Worthing Advertiser
  • Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra
  • Portsmouth View
  • Wharfe Valley Times
  • and the Hayling Islander.

The cuts follow closures of The Buteman, Bucks Advertiser and Thame Gazette weekly papers.

A JPI Media spokesperson said: “The decision to close these titles has not been taken lightly, but it is crucial that we focus all our efforts on the long-term stability of the business and deliver newspapers and websites which can sustain our business for the long term.

“We would like to thank all our readers and advertisers for their support through the decades, and we hope they will understand why we have made this decision in these challenging times.”

JPI Media was formed by Johnston Press creditors when the publisher went into administration last year.

Speaking to Press Gazette, a JPI Media source said staff had been told titles would not be closing for at least a year the pre-pack administration deal agreed in November.

They said: “The alternative is that [JPI Media editor-in-chief] Jeremy Clifford was telling the truth, and that JPI Media really have had to panic into closing these titles only in the last few weeks.

“If that’s the case then we should all be worried and we should be ready to bail.”

JPI Media announced in April that it was looking to make up to 70 editorial redundancies across the UK, exempting national title The i paper.

A month before that it announced that it was closing eight newspaper offices and moving staff based in 19 leasehold offices.

Paywalls have also been rolled out to three titles since the start of the year as part of a trial amid concern over falling advertising revenues.

JPI Media is owned by former Johnston Press bondholders Goldentree Asset Management, Carval Investors, Benefit Street Partners and Fidelity.

Comments

2 thoughts on “JPI Media set to close ten local newspapers across UK”

  1. Very sad for the excellent staff, but inevitable as the Tsunami of closures accelerates.

    One encouraging factor is that some of these closures are in markets where talented staff who have been made redundant have successfully launched competitors. JPi staff can learn from them and do the same. The future of local news can be very positive but not if it is in corporate ownership.

  2. The recent announcement of title closures by many of the bigger publishing groups leaves a ready made opportunity for budding entrepreneurs and ex regional press staff to launch their own hyper local papers.
    I suspect many titles have closed due to being underinvested in while the top table chase mythical digital revenues leaving ready made audiences both in terms of local readers and advertisers for a new paper to pick up.
    Where I am in the east there are many community based publications picking up audiences and business advertising lost by the main publisher and all making decent livings by providing a first class community news service and the numbers potential advertisers seek.

    I’ll bet the ailing publishers wished they could wipe the slate clean and start again when they see how much ad revenue is being taken by the new boys and how popular these ‘back to basic’ weekly newspapers have become.
    A golden opportunity for anyone treading water waiting for the next round of job cuts to come to get together and take control of their futures, good luck to those who do.

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