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Iliffe set to expand again as deal struck to buy family-owned weekly

Richard ParkinsonA family-owned weekly is set to come under new ownership after a deal was agreed with Iliffe Media.

The Newark Advertiser has today announced to its staff and shareholders that the company is in the process of being sold to Iliffe.

Joanna Parlby, chairman of the Advertiser Media Group, which currently runs the Nottinghamshire title, says the board took the decision because it believes the long-term future of the company is “better protected as part of a larger-scaled operation”.

The purchase of the Advertiser is the latest expansion for Iliffe after it returned to the regional press market in 2016 with the launch of the Cambridge Independent.

The company subsequently acquired 13 titles from Johnston Press, as well as the KM Media Group, and also launched the Bishop’s Stortford Independent last year.

Said Joanna: “This has been a difficult decision for me personally, having represented the fourth generation of family ownership. It is clear that the challenges facing the industry today will only get harder.

“My main concern is that the newspaper thrives and continues to play its important part in the community it serves, delivering trusted news and other valued content. I am confident that Iliffe Media will provide the best solution in order to achieve this.

“The Iliffe family has extensive experience and heritage in local media, publishing and printing dating back to 1891, and have very similar values and ethos to us at the Advertiser.

“I would like to thank all our staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the newspaper and website have always been the best they can be. So begins the next phase in the life of the Newark Advertiser.”

Advertiser Group managing director Steve Wilson added: “Our staff have worked incredibly hard over the last decade to maintain the proud tradition of quality journalism that our title still enjoys and I’d personally like to thank the board of directors, and particularly the Parlby family, for allowing us the opportunity to do so for as long as possible.

“I am confident that Iliffe Media can provide a secure future and that they share our desire to produce quality publications that remain at the heart of their community.”

It is anticipated the deal, which also includes the Advertiser’s associated website and publications including the Newark Trader, will be completed by Monday 18 June.

Iliffe Media Midlands managing director Richard Parkinson, pictured, said: “The Newark Advertiser is a strong local newspaper, at the heart of its community.

“As well as being a great geographical fit with Iliffe Media’s Midlands titles, this is a really strong cultural fit. Like the Advertiser, Iliffe Media believes in putting the interests of its readers and advertisers first, with locally-based teams.”

Edward Iliffe, chief executive of Iliffe Media, added: “We are delighted to be acquiring such a well-respected local newspaper as the Newark Advertiser.

“At a time when trust in local media is soaring, Iliffe Media, with its long heritage as an independent, family-run media business, is committed to a long-term investment in local newspaper publishing, across all platforms.”


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  • May 30, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    “ it believes the long-term future of the company is “better protected as part of a larger-scaled operation”
    Try telling the staff of those titles bought out by the likes of NQ,’ a larger scaled operatiion’ and since made redundant

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  • May 31, 2018 at 9:05 am

    “better protected as part of a larger-scaled operation”.

    That flies in the face of the trend for small operations becoming more successful. Perhaps that has something to do with smaller papers not having to fund armies of non revenue-generating administrators, managers, marketing and digital ‘experts’.

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  • May 31, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Another indie goes, a sad day. In Newark’s defence, running a small weekly is no fun at all at the moment – long, hard hours and declining revenue while f/wits on Facebook tell you they get all their news from gossip pages full of malice and speculation. The enemy is Facebook, not the larger media companies.

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  • May 31, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    I think that this great news for the Newark Advertiser and its readers. Iliffe Media have proved that quality local news has a place, under them and RP, they are in good hands! Another Fordham gem!

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  • June 1, 2018 at 6:25 am

    I totally disagree that bigger is best in regional publishing nowadays, small, hyper local well run independent publishing is the future,they cover their patches well and have the support of the communities they serve, unlike the decrepit bigger groups who’ve ignored them and only been interested in grabbing advertising money or upping the coverage when a new competitor appears on the scene.
    I just hope they’ve made the right decision here for the staff and the community.

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  • June 1, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    @Norridge I completely agree with you but at the same time as far as Iliffe go I believe they realise how lucky they were in selling out to Local World and to Trinity. They were so bloated with offices and staffing levels that the weight of restructuring and redundancies could have destroyed them back then. It comes across as a much more conservative approach to what they are doing this time with taking on titles with the right fit in terms of location and foot print as well as the ability to make savings straight out of the door in terms of production and accounts. They also seem to be pretty focused on staying in the communities and having the staff on patch as opposed to the big publishers closing down local offices and moving every one to a bland warehouse way out nowhere.

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