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Archant invests £500k in local press publisher

Regional publisher Archant has revealed it has invested more than half a million pounds over the past two years in a local newspaper business in Kent.

KoS Media, publisher of Kent on Sunday, was set up eight years ago by former Adscene, Kent Regional Newspapers and Trinity Mirror Southern executive Paul Stannard.

The company, based in Smeeth, near Ashford, has long been rumoured to have had links with Archant, but Archant has previously refused to comment publicly on this.

However the financial relationship between the two is referenced in Archant’s annual report published yesterday, which describes KoS Media as an “associated company.”

The report states that during 2009, Archant made a further £300,000 investment in KoS Media (Holdings) Ltd, on top of a £215,000 investment in 2008.

It added: “Archant’s share of the associate’s losses grew from £158,000 to £196,000 owing to the shortfall in advertising revenues, with the second half of the year an improvement on the first.”

Kent on Sunday was launched as a free newspaper in 2002 but adopted the part-free, part paid-for model in 2009.

KoS Media, whose main local competitor is the family-owned KM Group, also publishes ten free newspapers in Kent under the ‘your’ brand including yourashford, yourcanterbury, yourdeal and yoursandwich.

Elsewhere in the report, Archant’s chief executive Adrian Jeakings signalled that the company has no plans to impose online paywalls for its content.

“Most regional newspaper content does not meet the criteria likely to be necessary for this to work successfully,” he said,

“A number of surveys have indicated that the vast majority of consumers are not prepared to pay for online news and those that are will only pay a small amount.

“We are therefore focusing our efforts on alternative ways to monetise our online audience.”

As previously reported, the group’s annual profits were down to £15m in 2009 from £22.2m in 2008.

Archant’s AGM takes place on Tuesday 20 April at the Assembly House in Norwich.


Bingo Dingo (30/03/2010 10:19:54)
I am bitterly disappointed that kent on Sunday has once again become a free newspaper. I would gladly pay £10 per issue.

xnewspaper (30/03/2010 14:15:01)
£10 for Kent on Sunday?Like the company you must have money to burn!!

The Truth Hurts (30/03/2010 16:16:31)
I wouldn’t wipe my arse with it.

Why (30/03/2010 17:35:47)
Currently Archant are making people redundant.who on earth within the Archant boardroom continues to back a business that has never made a profit,and continues to back a lame duck whilst others lose their jobs in profitable Archant areas.

Darcey Sarto (31/03/2010 14:24:10)
£10 for Kent on Sunday?
I would gladly pay double that, and flaggelate myself within in inch of my life by way of penance.

Rodney Trotter (23/06/2010 10:11:25)
Archant have just bought KOS outright. Have they thought this through I wonder?
What is KOS’s main source of ad revenue? Why, public sector advertising.
What is about to be hammered by the new LibCom government?
The public sector, that’s what!