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Call for investment in Trinity Mirror regionals after sell-off falls through

The National Union of Journalists is calling on Trinity Mirror to “stop asset-stripping and start investing” in the wake of an ill-fated attempted sell-off of its Midlands titles and some South East newspapers.

The company failed to secure a high enough price for assets it thought would be worth more to other parties than to Trinity Mirror.

Trinity Mirror’s remaining South East businesses are West London & Bucks Newspapers, which publishes titles such as the Buckinghamshire Advertiser, Uxbridge Gazette and Harrow Observer, and North Surrey & London, which includes the Surrey Herald & Staines News.

And along with its Midlands titles of the Birmingham Post and Mail, the Coventry Telegraph and a clutch of weeklies, the company hopes its remaining regionals will gain from being fully integrated into the group’s new technology-led operating model.

That should enable them to reduce costs and explore additional revenue earning opportunities, Trinity Mirror said.

Union general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “It is hardly surprising after having failed to properly invest in the titles for many years and having cut editorial staff again and again that the papers have not attracted sufficient interest from potential buyers.

“The fear now is that shareholders, denied their windfall, will demand even greater returns from the company – meaning another round of cuts.

“Trinity Mirror should stop asset-stripping and start investing, building on high quality local journalism and the strong brand names the titles have in their communities.”

Read yesterday’s HTFP story on the developments.