Journalists who worked for failed weekly newspaper The Birmingham Press have been left with individual debts of up to £9,000 following its collapse last month.
The independent publisher announced his withdrawal from the so-called Birmingham newspaper war after estate agents in the city decided to return to rival Trinity Mirror-owned publications.
Now the liquidators of CJB Media, the company founded to launch the weekly title, have published a formal ‘Statement of Affairs’ revealing it owes creditors a grand total of £343,186.
The sum includes more than £37,000 owed to individual journalists who freelanced for the short-lived title.
According to the document, published by liquidators Begbies Traynor and sent to all creditors yesterday, the main creditors are listed as Mr Bullivant himself, stating the company owes him £145,000 which he invested as a director’s loan.
And North Wales Newspapers of Mold, Flintshire is owed £107,362.88, believed to be in respect of a printing contract.
The list of freelance journalists owed money as a result of the venture includes:
The document reports that a meeting of creditors on 11 November formed a liquidation committee “comprising of George Dobell, representing himself, Chris Morley [of the National Union of Journalists], representing Anthony Collins, and Hew Jones, representing NWN Media Limited”.
This committee would “represent the interests of the creditors” who were requested to “submit full particulars of their claims not later than 14 December 2010″.
Others among a total of 38 company creditors currently claiming debts include:
It is not yet known what percentage of debts, if any, can be met by the liquidation of CJB Media’s assets, and the document warns: “The level of return to creditors is highly speculative until such time as the Company’s affairs are fully wound up.”
It estimates that if the winding up of CJB Media is “relatively straightforward”, it could take “around 18 months to complete”.
Mr Bullivant was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.