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'Respected' Sunday regional changes hands

Newsquest’s Sunday Independent, the oldest regional Sunday newspaper in England and Wales, is being sold to Tindle Newspapers.

The move will rationalise Newsquest’s business in the Westcountry, while strengthening Tindle’s 80-strong portfolio in the region.

Tindle chairman Sir Ray Tindle and group managing director Brian Doel said they were “highly delighted” with the purchase.

Both Sir Ray and Brian have been shareholders in the Sunday Independent in the past.

They were involved when the title – one of the country’s few remaining paid-for Sunday regionals – was bought from Mirror Group Newspapers in 1982 and were anxious to renew their contact with such an “old and respected paper”.

They were joint owners until the title went to Yattendon in 1989 before being sold to Southern Newspapers, later part of Newscom, which in turn was taken over by Newsquest.

The paper, which is almost 200 years old, recently launched four subsidiary titles, the Plymouth Independent, Devon Independent, Cornwall Independent and the Bristol & Somerset Independent.

According to the most recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, it has weekly sales of 27,630.

Newsquest’s chairman and chief executive Paul Davidson said: “The Sunday Independent is joining a great stable of titles.

“I am sure it will enjoy an excellent future with Tindle Newspapers and we wish them every success.”

Tindle executives are now looking forward to meeting the staff, some of whom they already know, as soon as legalities are completed. Contracts have been exchanged for the deal to be completed in the next few weeks.

  • Tindle Newspapers, one of the last family newspaper businesses, runs more than 150 newspapers, many of which are over 100 years old, with a combined weekly circulation of more than 530,000 copies. In the Westcountry they have 80 newspaper titles, including 12 monthlies launched in the last four months.

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