The weekly newspaper where Sir Harold Evans started his career is set to close within weeks unless a buyer can be found.
The independently-owned Tameside Reporter, which was first published in 1855, was put up for sale a month ago but has so far failed to attract a potential rescuer.
Staff were summoned to a meeting last week to be told the paper may cease trading and that their positions would become redundant as a result.
Around seven editorial jobs are at risk , including those of editor Nigel Skinner, deputy editor Chris Maxwell, four reporters and one photographer. No-one from the paper or its owners has so far responded to requests for a comment on its plight.
The 157-year-old title was known as the Ashton-under-Lyne Weekly Reporter when future Sunday Times editor Sir Harold started there as a 16-year-old school leaver in the 1940s.
In those days it was owned by the Hobson family and at one point sold around 100,000 copies a week in the area around East Manchester.
However a decline set in after the paper was bought by United Newspapers in 1980, along with the rest of the Reporter Group which included a number of sister titles including the Glossop Chronicle.
Since 1997 it has been owned by Reporter and Chronicle Newspapers Ltd, a company set up by former Emap executive Martin Lusby and his then business partner Barrie Holden.
A former staff member told HTFP: “The paper has been terminally ill for some time. It hasn’t closed but it is in danger of closing.
“The staff are very worried. They are just waiting to see what happens.”
It is unclear whether the Glossop Chronicle is also at risk of closure or whether it may be sold off separately.
The only other paper covering the Tameside area of Greater Manchester is the Trinity Mirror-owned Tameside Advertiser.