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Northcliffe snaps up 26 Trinity Mirror weeklies for £64m

Northcliffe Media has bought 26 weekly newspapers from Trinity Mirror Southern in south-east England for £64.15m.

Northcliffe group managing director Michael Pelosi said the purchase, which will boost Northcliffe’s penetration by 872,000 copies a week, was a “vote of confidence” in the future of local media.

The three businesses they are part of are Canterbury-based Kent Regional Newspapers, East Surrey & Sussex Newspapers based in Reigate; and Blackmore Vale Limited in Dorset.

Together they employ more than 400 staff.

Completion of the purchase is expected to be July 23.

Michael Pelosi said in an announcement to the Stock Exchange this morning: “Today’s acquisitions strengthen our publishing reach in a region demonstrating strong economic growth where digital opportunities are particularly attractive.

“We are acquiring strong products which are at the heart of their local communities and are looking forward to working with our new colleagues.”

And he told staff: “These are important acquisitions and represent a vote of confidence from DMGT in Northcliffe and the future of local media.”

Under the restructuring following the sale, Kent Regional Newspapers and East Surrey & Sussex Newspapers will be combined with Northcliffe’s South East division, while Blackmore Vale Limited will become part of the South West Weeklies division.

Trinity Mirror’s East Surrey and Sussex business publishes a portfolio of paid and free weekly newspapers covering an area from Croydon in the north through the commuter belt of Surrey down to Crawley and East Grinstead. The Post Series of free newspapers covers Croydon, Reigate, Sutton and Epsom.

The titles are the paid-for Croydon Advertiser Series and Surrey Mirror Advertiser Series, and free weeklies the Croydon Post, Crawley News, East Grinstead Observer, Sutton & Epsom Post Series and Reigate Redhill & Horley Post, all supported by a series of locally branded websites.

Kent Regional Newspapers publishes a portfolio of both paid-for weekly and free newspapers across mid and north Kent.

In the Kent region, the paid-for titles comprise the Herne Bay & Whitstable Times, Folkestone Herald, Dover Express, Medway News, Medway Standard, East Kent Gazette Group, Isle of Thanet Gazette and the Thanet Times.

Its free weeklies are Ashford Adscene, Canterbury Adscene, Folkestone & Dover Adscene, Maidstone Adscene, Medway Adscene, Sittingbourne Adscene (including the Faversham Times), and Thanet Adscene.

Blackmore Vale Publishing is a portfolio of unique locally focused publications including the Blackmore Vale Magazine, the Fosse Way Magazine and the Community Magazine.

The South East is currently Northcliffe’s smallest region. The group said the new titles and websites were complementary to Northcliffe’s existing portfolio, extending the reach of its products to a wider audience of both advertisers and readers. It said they also provide a platform to extend the group’s online products to a wider geographic area.