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Three sister weeklies shut and 24 jobs at risk as publisher ceases operations

Thomas SinclairThe publisher of three sister weeklies has ceased operations with 24 jobs put at risk as a result.

Herald News UK Ltd, which publishes the Pembrokeshire Herald, Carmarthenshire Herald and Llanelli Herald says it is “no longer financially viable” after it was confirmed that an expected £1.5m investment fell through.

Staff working for the company, which is based in Milford Haven, were given notice of redundancy this morning.

Last year Thomas Sinclair, the editor of the titles, revealed in court that a fourth weekly run by the company, the Ceredigion Herald, had been closed down after he was fined for identifying a sex offence victim.

Thomas, pictured, told an ultimately unsuccessful appeal against the conviction at Swansea Crown Court that his prosecution for the offence had “killed off” the paper because the publicity surrounding the case had a negative effect on advertising.

In an announcement published on the Pembrokeshire Herald’s website this lunchtime, Thomas said: “After finalising today’s paper to go to print yesterday, a meeting was held last night. It was confirmed that the expected further investor funding would not be made available for the company.

“This meant that operations need be halted as the businesses was not able to pay its ongoing costs.

“At 10am today the 24 members of staff working at the newspaper have today been given notice of redundancy.

“We are absolutely devastated that after nearly seven years and hundreds of editions of the paper we can no longer continue. I would like to think that over those years, some of the stories we have written have made a difference to Pembrokeshire and beyond.”

Earlier this year it was reported Thomas had defied court orders over money owed to people including reporters and photographers, but he told BBC Wales he had secured a new £1.5m investment which he claimed would allow him to repay everybody, including six former employees, as well as creating up to 10 new roles.

Thomas also told HTFP at the time that he was no longer the owner of the Herald group and that its ownership has been transferred to Herald News International Inc., a new company which he said was incorporated in the United States earlier this year.

John Hammond, director of Herald News UK, said: “The company accountant could be appointing administrators as soon as next week.”

“The owners of The Pembrokeshire Herald came to the conclusion last night during a finance meeting that the venture is no longer financially viable.

“Whilst every conceivable effort has been made to improve the financial situation of the business, we have to face the fact that there is no way that we can now continue in a solvent position.

“Whilst there has been a slow decline in readership of local newspapers, our costs for wages, printing and transport have substantially increased. We would like to thank all of our loyal readers and staff.”


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  • October 18, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Commiserations to all the staff unfortunate enough to be caught up in this latest fiasco.

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  • October 21, 2019 at 10:29 am

    I look forward to the continued adventures of Mr Sinclair. Should be well worth reading, especially for those considering working for him. Good luck to those who just have been..

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  • October 21, 2019 at 11:10 am

    I’m amazed there are only 3 comments including mine) on HTFP about Thomas Sinclair, I can only assume moderation prevents more, anyone who doesn’t know about Mr Sinclairs past should either search on here or Google him, there’s certainly plenty in the public domain to keep readers entertained for a while.
    All good wishes to his soon to be ex employees

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  • October 21, 2019 at 11:56 am

    As soon as you see Thomas Sinclair’s face appear next to a story you know it’s going to be bad news. This is a man who has been willing to take significant risks, which most of us know full well you just cannot take without paying a significant price.

    My sympathies to all who are at risk of losing their jobs due to this latest development.

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