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Newsquest completes purchase of family-owned publisher

Henry Faure WalkerNewsquest has completed the purchase of a family-owned independent publisher which runs two regional dailies and five weeklies.

The deal to buy the CN Group was unanimously approved by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting held in Carlisle.

CN, which has been run by the Burgess family for four generations, currently publishes Barrow-based daily The Mail and the Carlisle News & Star, as well as weeklies the Cumberland News, Hexham Courant, Workington Times & Star, Whitehaven News and the Advertiser, which serves southern Cumbria.

The company, which employs 324 people across four offices, also runs magazines Cumbria Life, Dumfries & Galloway Life, Carlisle Living and Taste Cumbria.

It sold its two radio stations, The Bay and Lakeland Radio, in the autumn of 2017.

The terms of the Newsquest deal have not been disclosed.

Newsquest chief executive Henry Faure Walker, pictured, said: “CN Group has a portfolio of great local news and magazine brands, run by talented and committed staff.

“Despite their best efforts, the company has been loss making for the last couple of years, held back by its pension deficit and the aggressive structural change that has undermined the economics of traditional newspaper publishing.

“We will be working with the CN team in the coming months on a plan to get the business back onto a stronger financial footing and in so doing secure its long-term future.

“We will bring benefits of scale, particularly in activities such as production, purchasing, technology and digital marketing services, enabling them to continue to excel at what they have done so well for many years – delivering first class journalism and great advertising solutions for local people and local businesses.”

The deal represents the latest expansion for Newsquest which over recent months has purchased independent publisher NWN Media, as well as the Isle of Wight County Press.

8 comments

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  • March 12, 2018 at 10:48 am
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    “Despite their best efforts, the company has been loss making for the last couple of years, held back by its pension deficit and the aggressive structural change that has undermined the economics of traditional newspaper publishing.”
    Hmm, reminds me of another provincial media organisation linked to NQ…

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  • March 12, 2018 at 11:14 am
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    “..We will be working with the CN team in the coming months on a plan to get the business back onto a stronger financial footing…”

    Or as everyone else calls it: job cuts,centralisation and reducing staff costs by reducing staff numbers

    Oh dear CN, what have you done to your staff, papers and communities ?

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  • March 12, 2018 at 1:27 pm
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    My, doesn’t Faure Walker spout some lovely phrases? It almost gives you a nice warm, secure feeling – until you check back & see what those honeyed words translate to once the ink is dry on the contract. Because we are all seeing what they are doing to their other recent acquisitions and quality of coverage etc don’t come into it.

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  • March 13, 2018 at 9:54 am
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    It’s really very simple guys. Loss-making businesses don’t survive without the backing of a generous trust, rich benefactor or Russian oligarch.

    The Burgess family et al have been great custodians of the brands, but they are none of the above.

    Wake up and smell the coffee!

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  • March 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm
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    Voice Of Reason
    And you think the papers, staff and local people will be well served by NQ do you?
    Look at their track record once they take over publishers and take control

    Best you wake up and smell the coffee!

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  • March 13, 2018 at 6:21 pm
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    How long before Newsquest kills off the publications they just purchased….

    Going for less than a year

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