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.


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

  1. I was a Newsagent for 18 years it was a good selling paper but over the last few years it has gone down in relation to the cost having gone up to 75p.

  2. A sad day indeed for the loyal staff who have worked hard for the paper, some for more than 40 years. A sad day, too, for many people of Oldham who will be lamenting the loss of their main source of local news. Let’s hope a buyer is sufficiently attracted by the assets to carry the paper forward.

    It’s hard to imagine tea-time without the Chronicle. The Latics and Oldham Rugby will surely be hard hit by its disappearance, as will our local MPs, the borough council and hundreds of organisations across the town.

    The lack of a local evening newspaper now means alternative scrutiny of organisations like the council is even more vital, as Lord Kerslake points out in this week’s Municipal Journal (The MJ).

    We’ll all be the poorer for the passing of “The Chron”.

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