Sir Ray Tindle on BBC local video: A fight we must win

Proprietor of Tindle Newspapers Sir Ray Tindle has joined the fight against the BBC’s plans for local online video.

Tindle, who claims that his business has pre-tax profits of £7m and is debt free, said that even he is not immune against the economic downturn or the BBC.

Speaking to Media Guardian Tindle said it is war with the BBC. “This is a serious fight being undertaken at the same time that we are experiencing an enormous loss of revenue from property, situations vacant and other sections of advertising as a result of the downturn. It is a fight we must win. We can and we shall. Battle has already been joined.”

Tindle doesn’t scare easily, and in April this year he told Press Gazette that when estate agents told him they were pulling advertising from his paper the Farnham Herald and going with a new glossy give-away product he launched a counter attack.

The estate agents were all invited to Tindle head office and shown a new Tindle-produced, glossy property guide to be be delivered alongside the Herald.

He also threatened to launch his own chain of estate agents in retaliation.

He said: ‘We had three empty shops in the town, put up signs saying Herald Homes and whitewashed the windows so no-one could see what was going on inside.”

Although the estate agents caved in, Tindle said he would have relished the battle of taking on the agents at their own game. ‘We still believe we could have won. Imagine the estate agents pulling out, us opening shops and saying to readers: ‘We’ll sell your house for one per cent (undercutting the agents’ fee)’. Don’t you think we might well have won that battle?”

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