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Johnston Press launches 'Magic of Christmas' shows

Regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press has launched five new ‘Magic of Christmas’ seasonal extravaganzas which will take place this autumn at venues across the UK.

The shows, which ‘will capture the spirit and very essence of Christmas’, aim to provide everything needed for the festive period under one roof and will be run by the group’s exhibitions arm JP Events & Exhibitions

They will be held at the Kings Hall Complex in Belfast, Fontwell Park Racecourse in West Sussex, Rainton Meadows Arena in Sunderland, Haydock Park in Lancashire and in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, during November, with each lasting between one and three days.

The shows will be heavily promoted in regional papers across each of the areas and the company is also planning local radio advertising, targeted door-to-door leaflet drops and competitions to win tickets – with organisers hoping thousands of visitors will attend each one.

Details of the Belfast event were announced in JP-title the Ballymoney Times, which said it would be a ‘live event like no other in Northern Ireland, capturing the snow and sparkle, spirit and essence of Christmas’.

Mike Schwarz, MD of JP Events & Exhibitions, said he was delighted to be organising the show in Northern Ireland – the first in the country by the group’s exhibitions arm.

He added: “And the fact that it will bring alive the joy of Christmas makes it even more exciting and special.”

Andrew Richardson, group business development manager, told HTFP: “Johnston Press is developing its events and exhibitions business by launching new exhibitions across the country in the latter part of 2010 and throughout 2011.

“Included in the new programme will be five exhibitions with a Christmas theme, branded the ‘Magic of Christmas’.

“These exhibitions will provide a mix of local retailers offering an opportunity for Christmas shopping, with Christmas themed entertainment such as a chance for children to meet Santa Claus.”

A website set up for the events says: “The Magic of Christmas will capture the spirit and very essence of Christmas, whilst tapping into the British consumer’s recognised love of the festive season.

“As a nation, we show little sign of curtailing our expenditure at Christmas time and Brits are expected to continue to indulge their desire to make this a very special time.”

The shows will features stands selling gifts, demonstrations giving ideas on dressing Christmas trees, wrapping presents and cooking the Christmas dinner, fairground rides and ice rinks.

Earlier this year, the company revealed plans to stage a giant pet show in November.


outofit (03/08/2010 08:48:25)
How ironic that Scrooge is promoting the goodwill of Christmas.
Coming after the pet show this smacks of desperation.
And how many JP journalists will be able to celebrate Christmas with any real joy this year?

Lensman (03/08/2010 09:18:00)
No mention of Jesus then at these events. Why not exploit Easter as well while you’re at it, everybody knows that’s just a giant chocolate eggfest. Just sad really and probably taking business from local town centres as well. Bah humbug!

George Thompson (03/08/2010 09:23:31)
And the host is?… Alan Partridge!

Ann Elf (03/08/2010 09:43:45)
Father Christmas declined to comment.

JP hack (03/08/2010 10:09:20)
This is beyond satire, it really is. That Johnston Press, up to its ears in debt, dumping people out of work, wrecking newspapers up and down the land, should be spouting nonsense about the season of goodwill – whilst attempting to make a few bob out of it, of course – is despicable. Here’s an idea though – why not offer jobs as elves and Santa’s helpers to all the subs they’ve got rid of?

SatanClause (03/08/2010 10:16:09)
Is this a wind-up?

Sub ROFL (03/08/2010 10:29:45)
Hah hah hah ah hahh hhahhh ahah ahhha hahh hahhahh ha.

sam (03/08/2010 10:39:04)
Is it April 1st. Am I dreaming? Johnston Press promoting Christmas after the way they have decimated local newspapers and dumped hundreds of good staff. All they need is the MD sat in a grotto, resplendent with his white beard and red coat handing out P45s to the last few loyal staff. I think it would be more prudent to put King Herod in charge of a nursery school than to let JP promote Christmas.

only at JP (03/08/2010 11:02:46)
“As a nation, we show little sign of curtailing our expenditure at Christmas time and Brits are expected to continue to indulge their desire to make this a very special time.” apart from all the elves and little helpers who have to save their magic beans after being given the sack.

Mr_Osato (03/08/2010 11:05:59)
A Johnston Press Christmas? Lumps of coal all round then? Or perhaps a streamlined present management system, in which the elves deliver the toys themselves as well as making them, while more experienced employees like Santa are laid off and substantial savings on reindeer feed. Of course, the elimination of quality control will mean a few kiddies losing their eyes, but at least it keeps the shareholders very merry.

Creosote Arthur (03/08/2010 11:31:44)
For goodness sake, JP come up with a good idea to try to save the futures of you ungrateful, miserable lot and all you do is whinge.
Outofit? You keep saying you are.
Why not live up to your name and stay that way?
Some of us have got a company to be proud of working for.

Santa’slittlehelper (03/08/2010 11:47:10)
Creosote Arthur, are you an illiterate 14-year-old, a cheap trainee sub or one of JP’s bosses?

Creosote Arthur (03/08/2010 12:11:51)
Hello ‘helper,
I’m just a fairly successful person without a chip on the shoulder.
Happy to be so, too.
I don’t mean to cause offence on here, but the shrivelled, bitter prunes really wind me up.
If you don’t like the company…do one!

Onlooker (03/08/2010 12:41:12)
@Creosote Arthur. Until about 10 years ago JP was a small, regional newspaper publisher. Then it went around buying group after group, often for vastly inflated amounts. The decision to do this was not that of the JP workers or the employees of any of the companies acquired.
JP incurred massive debts as a result of its acquisitions but it is the employees who are suffering because to pay interest takes most, if not all, of JP’s profits.

Missing Something (03/08/2010 12:55:18)
Am I missing something? What does this have to do with being a newspaper publisher? Another sign of a bleak future.

outofit (03/08/2010 14:36:47)
Dear Creosote…I didn’t like the company so I did get out. That doesn’t preclude me from having an opinion or the right to express it.If you think it does then you are patently in the wrong job.

Creosote Arthur (03/08/2010 14:46:33)
You need to move on, Outofit. Get down the allotment or something.

Lord Lucan (03/08/2010 15:48:10)
What a tremendous row…
First the usual bunch of moaners bang on about how bad everything is.
Then someone actually disagrees…. Amazing.
For the record, I’m with you creosote…

SEN hack (03/08/2010 16:12:10)
Creosote Arthur sounds like a management stooge / apologist to me. No-one I know in JP who isn’t a manager thinks like him.

Lensman (03/08/2010 16:16:28)
Ho Ho Ho… Merry Christmas everybody!

B.Humpage (03/08/2010 16:51:55)
Why are they holding these seasonal extravaganzas *cough all over the place. Surely it makes perfect sense to the board of JP to centralize them in one place to save costs …

JPworker (09/08/2010 17:17:17)
If you’re so proud of the firm, unveil yourself. Tell your colleagues who you are.
And am I hypocrite – no, I defend my anonymity on the grounds that I’ve twice been offered redundancy and I have a family to support and I now work in a climate of fear, which is hardly ideal for standards.
But why should a newspaper firm suddenly have the skills to lay on Christmas
shows or pet events?
When they all run at losses your pay freeze will be extended and your position might be the next in the firing line.
Look around, open your eyes and what the debt-ridden joke you work for might not be paying your bills for much longer.