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Weekly titles rescued after publisher went bust

A group of weekly newspapers in Scotland are resuming publication following a six-week break after their previous owner went bust.

Forth Independent Newspapers went into liquidation earlier this year with the loss of seven journalists’ jobs.

Titles affected by the collapse included the Wee County News, Strathallan News, Allanwater News and Eastside News.

Now all four have been bought by HUB Media, part of a group which already publishes a series of ‘good news’ freesheets in Scotland.

The Glasgow-based publisher has bought the four titles from the liquidator, Derek Forsyth of Campbell Dallas LLP.

However the deal does not include three other titles previously owned by Forth Independent – the East Kilbride Mail, Eastwood Today and Avondale Mail.

Some of the seven journalists who lost their jobs have been rehired while other vacancies are due to come on stream.

The Wee County News has already resumed publication, with the other three titles set to relaunch shortly.

HUB media said in a statement: “HUB Media, part of HUB Publishing (Scotland) have purchased the assets of Forth Independent Newspapers Limited and we are looking forward to being able to deliver the news to the residents in those communities.”

Partner Scott Mochar told HTFP that some of the titles would follow the ‘good news first’ agenda established by the existing HUB titles in Lanarkshire, Wishaw and Perthshire.

He said:  “The Strathallan and the Allanwater previously did feature a lot of positive news.  We will keep that style.  With the Wee County News and the Eastside, I guess it depends on what is happening at the time.

“It is important to promote the positives from within a community rather than the doom and gloom. We do report on ‘negative’ news but it is how you deliver it that matters.”

The Lanarkshire HUB proclaims on its website:  “At the HUB, we don’t believe in ‘Broken Britain’ or ‘Hoodie Culture’ and no negative editorial ever makes its way into print with us.

“There is good in every community and it is our responsibility to deliver that positive news.”

The East Kilbride Mail, which was left out of the deal, was originally acquired four years ago from a consortium which included the ex-footballer Ally McCoist, now boss of Rangers.

HUB Media is planning to launch a new HUB title in East Kilbride shortly.