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Fast-acting Tindle snaps up Somerset weekly

Tindle Newspapers has stepped in to snap up the free weekly Radstock and Midsomer Norton Journal in Somerset after Northcliffe was refused permission to complete the purchase.

Sir Ray Tindle saw a chance to strengthen his portfolio of some 130 regional newspapers – and stepped in to buy the Journal from its owners George Donkin and Steve Shipley.

The competition minister turned down Northcliffe’s bid, stating that there were concerns over the newspaper group’s strength in the Bristol and Bath area.

Radstock and Midsomer Norton are two towns less than two miles apart, which lie south-west of Bath and Bristol.

George, who will continue to run the Journal company, said: “After weeks and weeks of discussions with Northcliffe and reaching agreement with them, it came as a bombshell to be told that the sale couldn’t go ahead. We and the staff were devastated.

“Then, on the same day as the minister’s announcement, the Tindle Group managing director, Brian Doel, rang me and we met to agree a new deal. I visited one of the Tindle centres in Somerset and found them dedicated to running local community newspapers, so we were happy to sign up.”

Sir Ray said: “We are always on the lookout for new acquisitions and opportunities for launches and this newspaper, with its 24-year history of serving the local community, fits in well with our policy.”


Celebrating the acquisition are Sir Ray (centre)
with his secretary Wendy Craig, George Donkin,
Brian Doel, lawyer Tim Caton, finance director Colin Christmas, Steve Shipley and lawyer Lynda Lawson

  • Brian Doel is new to the role as managing director of Tindle Newspapers. He was previously heading up part of the Tindle group in the South West and Wales as a regional director, a position he held for more than 16 years.

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