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Talks in bid to save local publisher from collapse

Last-ditch talks are continuing today in a bid to save a local community newspaper publisher from going into administration.

The Dorset-based View From group, founded by entrepreneur Philip Evans five years ago, has under a fortnight to find a new buyer or face collapse, HoldtheFrontPage has learned.

The group’s 25 staff, which included seven journalists, were told this week that the company had filed for administration.

The administrator’s agent is now holding talks with potential buyers in a bid to keep the company as a going concern and preserve most of the threatened jobs.

The group publishes a series of weekly free titles in Lyme Regis, Bridport, Beaminster, Dorchester and Weymouth under the ‘View From’ banner.

Last week it sold one of its titles, View From the Blackdown Hills, to Sir Ray Tindle, but the deal has failed to stave off the group’s financial crisis.

In a statement yesterday, the company said that talks were taking place with third parties in a bid to protect jobs.

The statement continued: “These discussions will go on over the next few days and further staff meetings will be held when they return from the Christmas break.

“We have filed our intention to go into administration but hope this will not be necessary.”

It said that all View From titles had been published this week.

View From was set up five years ago by journalist Philip Evans who built a stable of 13 weekly free titles in East Devon, South Somerset and West Dorset.

Earlier this year, he sold four East Devon titles to the Tindle Group and decided to concentrate on the development of the Dorset papers, including launching View From Weymouth.

The Tindle Group is not thought to be currently negotiating to buy the Dorset titles, which circulate in the same areas as the Newsquest-owned Dorset Echo.

Tindle managing director Brian Doel said: “We have never been involved in the Dorset titles but we know that talks are taking place this week.”


Peter ONeill (23/12/2009 10:45:13)
Another small publisher of freesheets fails in the face of falling advertising revenues. Looks like Tindle have creamed off the only money makers. The rest must be basket cases. What are the chances of a prepack administration and sale back to management? And if there is, who in their right mind would risk their cash on this? Always tough when this happens before Christmas. Good luck.