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Union welcomes £7.2m sale of JP’s Irish titles

The National Union of Journalists has welcomed the  sale of 14 Johnston Press titles in the Irish Republic – while it presses for a meeting with the new owner.

The publishing group disposed of the operations in a deal worth around £100m less than it paid for them nine years ago.

Media group Johnston confirmed yesterday it had accepted a cash offer £7.2m from Iconic Newspapers Ltd, owned by advertising executive Malcolm Denmark.

The 14 newspapers, which include the Limerick Leader, Donegal Democrat and Kilkenny People, collectively made an operating profit of around 1.3m euros in the past year.

Barry McCall, NUJ president said the sale “will free the Irish regional titles from debt and end a period of  uncertainty for staff, readers and advertised in some of the most significant titles in the country.”

He said it would be seen as a positive development and urged the new owners to build on the community goodwill towards the newly acquired titles.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, also welcomed the sale, saying: “I will be writing to Mr Denmark, seeking an early meeting to discuss plans for the future development of the titles.

“This has been a very stressful time for our members and the announcement will be welcome because of the stated commitment of the new owner to the titles.”

Chief executive of Johnston Ashley Highfield earlier said the disposal of our trade and assets in the Republic of Ireland will “increase our ability to focus on the growth of our business in the United Kingdom and in particular our digital initiatives, in line with our stated strategy.”

Johnston’s newspapers in Northern Ireland, such as the Derry Journal and the Ballymena Times, are not included in the sale.

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  • April 3, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t suppose the executive fools behind this £100million loss will lose their jobs while journalists and photographers are being sacked up and down the land just to save peanuts in comparison.

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