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Round-up: Reaction to GMG Regionals sale to Trinity Mirror

February 10th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Jobs, Newspapers

Trinity Mirror’s acquisition of Guardian Media Group’s regional businesses, including Manchester Evening News publisher MEN Media, and plans to relocate MEN Media staff to Oldham has stirred mass discussion amongst media commentators online. Below are links breaking down the fundamental aspects of the story:

The Guardian’s Steve Busfield covers the imminent MEN move, reporting claims by Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of Guardian Media Groups, that the £44.8m sale of GMG is in the best interests of GMG Regional Media.

Holdthefrontpage.co.uk has a statement from Bethan Dorsett, organiser of the NUJ chapel at MEN Media Weeklies, and Judith Gordon, director of the MEN chapel, describing their concerns for MEN staff.

The Drum covers the various reactions produced by the deal, questioning whether Trinity got a good deal or gained a dying media group, including comments from analyst Jim Chisholm, who told the Drum it was “a great deal for Trinity Mirror” though “not such a great reflection of the way the regional print industry is today viewed”.

On Press Gazette, the financial benefits of the deal to GMG and Trinity Mirror – pointing towards the FT’s analysis of the sale, which considers the issue of consolidation, but comes down in favour of TM saying it was a bargain for the group.

Crain’s Manchester business takes notice of the exclusion of Channel M in the GMG sale to Trinity Mirror. Channel M lost GMG a significant amount of money since it’s launch and its segregation has left questions being asked about the channels future.

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GMG sells regional media business to Trinity Mirror for £44.8m

February 9th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

Months of speculation about the future of Guardian Media Group’s regional media business is over – the group has announced today it will sell GMG Regionals to Trinity Mirror for a total consideration of £44.8 million.

Within the regionals group MEN Media publishes 22 titles in the north west of England, including the flagship Manchester Evening News; while S&B Media publishes 10 titles in the south of England, including the Surrey Advertiser and Reading Post. Both will go to Trinity Mirror.

Manchester-based TV station Channel M and GMG Regionals Woking titles will not be part of the deal, which is expected to complete by 28 March.

The deal also sees departures for GMG Regionals chief executive Mark Dodson and MEN Media chief executive Ruth Spratt. More significantly it marks the sale of the Guardian’s Manchester roots, as the paper was started in the city on 5 May 1821.

More to follow from Journalism.co.uk.

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Updated: Inside the Manchester Evening News’ newsroom

December 5th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Newspapers, Training

As part of tomorrow’s today’s National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) skills conference in Manchester, delegates from the event were yesterday treated to a tour of the Manchester Evening News‘ newsroom.

Journalism.co.uk is much obliged to MEN’s Sarah Hartley for the slideshow of the tour below, which appeared originally on the paper’s The Mancunian Way blog:

As part of the tour, MEN editor Paul Horrocks explained how the newsroom has helped teams from the group’s daily and weekly titles – and Channel M staff – integrate:

Her Twitter coverage of the tour can be seen on @foodiesarah @sarah_hartley.

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SoE08: What next for local media?

November 10th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Newspapers

Two questions being repeatedly raised at today’s Society of Editors (SoE) conference:

  • stop talking about the nationals, how can regional media get in on the digital act?
  • what to do about the BBC – or the ‘boa constrictor’ as Mail Online’s editorial director Martin Clarke called the corporation.

Guardian Media Group chief executive Carolyn McCall told delegates that there is a model for the local press, focusing on hyperlocal.

“There will be models that emerge: investing in SEO, local press have to do that. There’s an opportunity for local press to go very local and build revenue around this. There are models, but it will have to be off a very different cost base,” said McCall.

She went on to describe Channel M – the television offshoot of the Manchester Evening News – as ‘a good model’ for local media that could be replicated in the future.

The business risks associated with online and sustainable digital business models, she added, need to be shared regionally and locally.

Regional media will have to take ‘a real hit’ on their bottom line when it comes to online to if they are to maintain standards of quality journalism, she added.

Malcolm Pheby, editor of the Nottingham Evening Post, took up the regional press’ baton in explaining how the NEP had successfully integrated its newsroom with staff now trained to treat all news stories as rolling news to be broken on the web.

But the pervading theme of the day has been the opposition from regional newspapers to the BBC’s proposed local video plans.

Pete Clifton, head of multimedia for the Beeb, did his best to defend criticisms of the plans, saying that the proposals are subject to assessments by the BBC Trust and suggesting that the BBC could forge stronger relationships with other news providers.

Still it was comments from McCall and Clarke, whose affiliate Northcliffe added its voice to the debate today, that received impromptu applause.

According to both, the BBC’s plans present unfair competition to the local press

Cue videojournalism evangelist and consultant Michael Rosenblum, who promised to teach the audience how to beat the BBC at its own game. Key to this he said is embracing technology, in particular video, wholeheartedly and not incrementally.

In response to a question from a Rotherham newspaper publisher, which currently has no video on its website, Rosenblum said there was a demand for the content and the potential for partnerships with regional broadcasters like ITV local.

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