Browse > Home /

Northcliffe Media selling Staffordshire titles

Northcliffe Media is to sell off a number of its regional titles to Staffordshire Newspapers, part of Iliffe News and Media Limited.

In March it was reported that Northcliffe Media’s new managing director, former Metro director Steve Auckland, was planning to launch a review of the division’s 115 regional newspapers.

Parent company the Daily Mail and General Trust had previously ruled out buying or launching any more local newspapers, but had said it was interested in any approaches for its regional newspaper division.

Titles affected by the latest announcement are from its Leek Post & Times Business, including the Leek Post & Times, Uttoxeter Post & Times, Moorlands Advertiser and South Cheshire Advertiser.

In a statement Northcliffe Media said the sale is subject to the appropriate legal consultation with the employees of the Post & Times.

The sales will give the publisher “a greater opportunity to concentrate on developing our Stoke portfolio”, a statement added.

No one from Staffordshire Newspapers was available to comment at the time of writing.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

CMS 2010: Data is a business’ biggest asset, says head of Associated Northcliffe Digital

March 19th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Newspapers, Online Journalism

Richard Titus was shocked to discover that one of Associated Northcliffe Digital’s portfolio businesses was just throwing away its transaction data, when he first started as CEO.

They told him they wiped it each week:  “Well, hard drives are expensive.”

Data is the asset, and a really big opportunity for businesses, he said at yesterday’s Guardian Changing Media Summit.

Audio:

“It’s very hard to copy; it’s very hard to steal; it’s very hard to pirate and it has incredible large scarcity.

“Data with its scarcity is one of the most important assets most businesses have today. Most businesses give it away; don’t collect it; they wipe it off their hard drives.”

AND, the digital consumer division of DMGT, looks after Associated and Northcliffe digital media sites, as well as online classified sites such as Jobsite.co.uk, FindaProperty.com & Primelocation.com. A significant part of its business is in Eastern Europe, Titus said, where its classified sites are ‘market leaders’.

Its new hyperlocal network Local People was focussed around bringing community-oriented information to groups of 20-30,000 people.

Titus, who previously worked for the BBC, also emphasised the potential to make advertising money out of small and medium enterprises, he said.

Titus said that the “the thing that most matters in digital today is your relationship with the customer”.

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

Ofcom revokes Teletext licence

January 29th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting

The Teletext goodbyes have already been done, but Ofcom has today revoked the Public Teletext Licence with immediate effect [PDF at this link].

Teletext Limited, which ceased supplying national, international and regional news in December 2009, is now in breach of its public service obligations, so the broadcasting licence has been revoked by the broadcasting regulator. Teletext did not take the remedial steps to comply with the licence.

Ofcom said that Teletext’s subtitling provision and the page 100 index remain unaffected.

In its statement, Ofcom said:

This [ceasing supply of national, international and regional news] is a serious breach of the licence conditions. Teletext Limited was asked for its representations and, following consideration of those representations, the Licence has now been revoked.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Irish Mail on Sunday responds to air controller blogger’s complaint

We reported earlier this week that air controller and blogger Melanie Schregardus had lodged a complaint with the Irish Mail on Sunday, after the newspaper ran an article about her last Sunday. Online users rushed to her defence, via Twitter and in the comments on her reinstated blog.

The editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday, Sebastian Hamilton, told Journalism.co.uk that the newspaper has now responded to Schregardus’ complaint and is awaiting her reply, if she has one.

As we reported before, Schregardus told Journalism.co.uk she had been in touch with the Irish press ombudsman and is seeking legal advice.

A re-published copy of Schregardus’ original blog post can be viewed here; Bernie Goldbach has a PDF of the newspaper article on his blog (or Twitpic here)

In a statement issued by the Irish Mail on Sunday today, it presents its own version of events:

Some months ago Mrs Schregardus published a 500-word account of her experiences as a female air traffic controller on an internet blog that was open to millions of people around the world to read. Mrs Schregardus made no effort to restrict the viewing. In the week air traffic controllers staged a four-hour walk-out, it provided a fascinating insight into working conditions in a job that was obviously of major public interest.

Writing after the Mail on Sunday article was published, Schregardus had claimed: The Mail never told me they were writing a piece about my blog. The journalist who wrote it never sent me an email asking me questions about my blog.

But the Mail disputes that account in its statement today:

It is simply untrue to say that the paper did not contact Mrs Schregardus before publication. On Thursday, January 21, Luke Byrne [the reporter] attempted to contact Mrs Schregardus by Twitter (the only contact details he had) and asked her for an interview. On Friday, January 22, Mrs Schregardus replied. She informed Mr Byrne that she had sought permission from her trade union to speak to us. He awaited further contact from her, but he did not hear from Mrs Schregardus again. Either she chose not to speak to him or her union refused her permission to do so.

By this stage Mrs Schregardus had already put her description of her workplace into the public domain. In this respect, publishing an open blog is little different from giving a TV interview, making a radio broadcast or sending out a handbill: you are airing your opinions for all to hear.

Scheragadus said she believed the article made it sound like she thought her colleagues were sexist: “The people I work with today could, and probably have, read it and decided that I am not on their side, and that I think that they are sexist, nasty, bullies. None of this is true.”

The Irish Mail on Sunday said today:

The Irish Mail on Sunday did not attribute to Mrs Schregardus the view that her colleagues were sexist. Luke Byrne quoted extensively from what she had said about her working environment. His account made clear that some of the sexist behaviour described by Mrs Schregardus (such as refusing to let women sit together) occurred during her early days as an air traffic controller and that conditions have improved since. While the article reported a number of sexist incidents, it does not say she is unhappy: for example, it quotes her as saying: ‘I’m well looked after by the guys, they’re quite protective of their “girlie”.’

Nevertheless, based on the contents of her blog, it is an empirical fact that her workplace is a sexist environment. Mrs Schregardus describes ‘banter’ between her male colleagues that, in her own view, is ‘quite inappropriate’ in front of a woman. She adds that that she is forced to pretend that such comments do not bother her.  Furthermore, Mrs Schregardus describes how to this day she is one of very few women employees in air traffic control – and, extraordinarily, that she still expected, ‘as the girl’, to take on secretarial tasks such as sending birthday cards and organising Christmas parties.

Last week’s air traffic controllers’ strike, which brought the country to a standtstill, was presented by union leaders as being about fairness for workers. In this context, it was a matter of public interest to tell our readers how some air traffic controllers actually behave towards female colleagues.

In the eyes of the law, and presumably of most reasonable people, male workers who make such comments and treat female colleagues in this way in a 21st century office would be considered to be behaving in a sexist and discriminatory fashion. Indeed, several of the comments on her original post sympathise with the attitudes of her colleagues or tell similar stories of women being discriminated against in the workplace (one, from a Danish Tweeter, says: ‘Come to Denmark, my friend – I do hope we offer some more respect than described here’.)

In regards to the image in the article, Schregardus told Journalism.co.uk: “I don’t know where the photo was taken from. It wasn’t on my blog. It is on my Facebook profile, but that’s completely shut down privacy-wise.”

Today, the Mail said:

The photograph of Mrs Schregardus which we published to accompany this article came from Page 36 of this online magazine http://issuu.com/connors-bevalot/docs/publication1_-destress

Like Mrs Schregardus’s blog, it had been put into the public domain by Mrs Schregardus herself.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

FT.com: Daily Mail owner to launch 15 iPhone apps

December 16th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) will launch 15 applications in Apple’s iTunes store over the next six months.

Apps for Mail Online, Metro.co.uk and six other properties are expected to go live early next year. All will be free to download and supported by advertising.

Full post at this link…

Tags: , ,

Similar posts:

TimesOnline: Daily Mail halves its advertising decline rate

September 30th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Advertising, Editors' pick, Newspapers

“Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said yesterday that it had halved the rate of decline in advertising revenue at its flagship national newspaper in September, a fillip that suggests the industry could start to recover in the new year,” reports the Times.

Full post at this link…

Tags: , ,

Similar posts:

Jon Bernstein: What if the business model for news ain’t broke?

July 8th, 2009 | 16 Comments | Posted by in Comment, Online Journalism

In what may feel like a twist of logic too far, there are a growing number of non-media companies who are adopting the Fourth Estate’s digital business model.

That’s the ad-funded, free-to-the-consumer model.

You know the one.

It’s at the root of the crisis afflicting the newspaper industry around the world, an industry which is trying desperately to make money online. Or at least not haemorrhage it.

To believe the unholy trinity that is News International, Daily Mail and General Trust, and the Guardian Media Group, the media model is unworkable, unsustainable and it’s got to go.

The three are not sure if it should be replaced by paywalls, micropayments, subscriptions or something else entirely.

But what they are agreed on is that it cannot be business as usual. Because that business is going under.

So why do we find the likes of Facebook, Digg and the mighty Google – and perhaps soon Amazon- adopting the ad-funded model to support services and software.

Take Gmail. It’s not a media entity, it’s email, but it is ad-supported.

One answer is that that advertising is the last, desperate (and largely) failing attempt to generate some money, given nobody wants to pay for their products. In short: free reigns.

On that latter point, Wired’s editor-in-chief Chris Anderson is likely to agree.

His new book ‘Free: The Future of a Radical Price’ – appropriately available to read and listen to online without charge – celebrates ‘freeconomics’, but has a much more positive take on its effect on the business world.

The reason, he says, people are convinced that ad-funded won’t work is because they are applying the conventional rules.

Offline – in newspapers, magazines, billboards, TV and radio – advertising is predicated on scarcity not abundance. Ad sales people trade on ‘space’ and the less there is the higher the yield.

So when there is infinite space online, their greatest selling tool disappears.

Right? Wrong.

Anderson argues that there is another kind of advertising which is epitomised by Google’s text ads:

“Google doesn’t sell space. It sells users’ intentions – what they’ve declared to be interested in, in the form of a search query.

“And that’s a scarce resource. The number of people typing in ‘Berkeley dry cleaner’ on any given day is finite.”

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt – admittedly a man with a vested interest – estimates that the potential market for online advertising is $800bn.

“That’s twice the total advertising market, online and off, today,” notes Anderson.

So why is his tone at such odds with that of the media he is writing about?

Perhaps it has something to do with the production-cycle of book publishing. This book was in train before he had even finished writing the much-admired The Long Tail.

Clearly much of his thinking predates the collapse of Lehman Brothers which sealed our current economic fate.

His penultimate chapter, presumably added very late in the day and titled ‘Coda: Free in a Time of Economic Crisis’, is an acknowlegement of that, although not a denunciation of his core argument.

Just maybe, it’s the down-in-the-mouth media owners who are out of time, not Anderson.

Maybe this rush to find other ways to monetise will be a passing phase and when the economy picks up so too will online advertising revenues.

After all, what’s the alternative?

Pay walls may work for niche information but not for mainstream news and exclusives. That’s something that even the Wall Street Journal, poster child of the paid model, accepts.

Interviewed earlier this year its executive editor Alan Murray said:

“Look, if it’s a big news story, if we report a takeover and – we could hold that behind the pay wall. But if we do, BusinessWeek or someone else will simply write a story saying ‘The Wall Street Journal is reporting x’ and they’ll get all the traffic. Why would we do that?

“So if it’s that kind of a big, broad-interest news story, we’ll put it outside the pay wall and go ahead and take the traffic ourselves, thank you very much.”

Jon Bernstein is former multimedia editor of Channel 4 News. This is part of a series of regular columns for Journalism.co.uk. You can read his personal blog at this link.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Northcliffe’s operating profits drop 81 per cent

May 21st, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

Regional newspaper publisher Northcliffe posted an 81 per cent drop in operating profits in the six months up to March 29 2009, according to figures released today.

Operating profits for the group, which publishes the Bristol Evening Post and Hull Daily Mail, fell by £33 million to £3.2 million over the period. Advertising revenues also fell by 31 per cent to £103 million.

The publisher has reduced operating costs, however, by 11 per cent compared to the last period – including a reduction of its headcount by 500.

On the digital front, revenues were reportedly in line with the same period last year. Unique ‘visitors’ to the network of ‘thisis’ sites rose by 42 per cent year-on-year to 4.2 million.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT)

According to the figures, DMGT’s revenue fell by 7 per cent year-on-year – from £1,168 million to £1,085 million.

The group’s outlook:

“Within our UK local media operations, revenues continue to be stable which is encouraging, when combined with increasing cost reductions. Within our national consumer media operations, the positive impact will be felt of the cost reductions made to date and of the sale of the Evening Standard at the end of February. As a consequence, DMGT’s operating profits will be weighted more than last year towards the second half of the year.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

MediaGuardian: DMGT to axe 1,000 from Northcliffe Media

March 23rd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Job losses

Daily Mail & General Trust has announced possible job cuts of 1,000 at its regional publishing division Northcliffe Media.

The group posted a 24 per cent fall in advertising revenue across its national newspaper division and 37 per cent drop for regionals for Q1 2009.

Full story at this link…

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

DMGT digital revenues boosted by search portals while local media profits fall

May 22nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers, Search

Revenue for Associated Northcliffe Digital (AND), the digital division of Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), rose by 12 per cent to £46 million over the six months to the end of 2008, boosted by specialist search portals Jobsite, Findaproperty and Primelocation.

However, AND’s total operating profits fell by £3.6 million to £2.2 million after developing automative website Motors.co.uk, according to the group’s report released today.

Operating profits from the group’s local media assets under the Northcliffe media division fell by £4.9 million (13 per cent) to £33.8 million over the same period.

Associated Newspapers also posted a drop in operating profits, but stressed the acquisition of a new printing facility at Didcot was a key factor in this downturn.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement