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Regional publisher to close Sunday newspaper after 15 years

A regional Sunday newspaper founded 15 years ago is to close later this month after its owners decided it was no longer economically viable.

Archant has announded it is closing Kent on Sunday with the last issue to appear on 26 November.  The newspaper’s companion website Kent News will also close.

The move was announced in an email to staff from chief executive Jeff Henry which has been seen by HoldtheFrontPage.

No figure has been put on the number of job losses but the company has admitted that some redundancies are likely.

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Wrote Jeff: “It is with much regret that I am announcing that Archant is to close Kent on Sunday, with publication of its last editions on the weekend of November 24-26, 2017.

“It has been a challenging period for the newspaper industry as a whole and whilst we have sought to stabilise this part of the business over many years, the continuing decline in commercial revenues has had an adverse effect on this newspaper title.

“Unfortunately, this means that Kent on Sunday is no longer economically viable. We have sought buyers without success; therefore we have taken the decision to close it.

“I would like to thank the committed members of staff who have worked tirelessly to make Kent on Sunday one of the most revered regional newspapers in the country.

“We will aim to find roles for as many staff as we can across other parts of the Archant portfolio, but we believe that there will be a number of redundancies as a result of this change.

“We will continue to publish Kent Life which is not affected by this decision.”

Kent on Sunday editor Chris Britcher added: “Obviously we are all hugely disappointed at the decision.

“However, we have seen the direction the industry is going in and the challenges we have faced have been enormous.

“We all take enormous pride in Kent on Sunday and during its 15 years I have worked with some fabulously talented people – and continue to do so.

“We will ensure our last two editions celebrate our legacy.”

Kent on Sunday was originally founded in 2002 by Paul Stannard and was the flagship title of his publishing business KOS Media.

Archant took a minority stake in KOS in 2005 before taking outright ownership in 2010.

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