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Newsquest

Newsquest Media Group Ltd is a relative newcomer to the UK press scene, but has risen rapidly since its foundation in the mid-1990s to become the country’s third largest publisher of regional and local newspapers, with a portfolio of over 200 titles covering most of Great Britain from central Scotland to south-western Cornwall and including 17 well-known dailies such as the Glasgow-based The Herald and Sunday Herald, Bradford’s Telegraph & Argus and the Southampton Southern Daily Echo.

History

Newsquest was founded in 1995 as a management buyout of the Reed Regional Newspapers group from British/Dutch company Reed Elsevier.

Its prehistory is a little convoluted. In 1970 paper-makers Albert E. Reed bought Daily Mirror publishers IPC in a reverse takeover, creating a new company: Reed International. The new company gradually ceased manufacturing activities and concentrated on publishing. In 1993 it merged with Dutch publishing house Elsevier to form Reed Elsevier PLC in the UK and Reed Elsevier NV in the Netherlands.

Newsquest embarked on a programme of rapid reorganisation and expansion over the next decade or so. In 1996 it swapped its Yorkshire titles with Johnston Press for their titles in the Bury area and £9.25 million. In the same year it sold its Midlands titles to Midland Independent Newspapers and bought Westminster Press (a group of local newspapers) from Pearson, publishers of the Financial Times. By the end of the year, as a result it was twice its original size. A flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 1997 brought a market capitalisation of £500 million.

In 1999 US media group Gannett’s UK subsidiary bought Newsquest for £922 million. Further expansion ensued:

  • 2000: the Guardian Media Group’s regional newspapers outside the Greater Manchester/SELNEC area
  • 2001: nine Greater London weeklies, previously published by the Dimbleby Newspaper Group
  • 2003: three Glasgow-based titles, The Herald, the Sunday Herald and the Evening Times, from SMG

Recent developments

Newsquests’s management have attracted considerable criticism from the industry’s trade unions in recent years for their robust response to the economic challenges of the global recession and the decline in newspaper advertising revenue. Several of the company’s operations have been centralised on a regional basis, with the loss of numerous jobs. Staff have been asked to take their leave unpaid, and have been subject to a pay freeze in three of the four years from 2008 to 2011 – although reportedly the management have not been required to make sacrifices on the same scale, and the group’s profits have risen by 15 per cent. An indicative ballot conducted by the NUJ in March 2012 suggested that over 80 per cent of their members would support strike action if no pay offer were forthcoming for 2012 – and 95 per cent had no confidence in Gannett as Newsquest’s owners.

Newsquest have been quicker than the other major regional newspaper publishers to embrace online technology. Most of their titles have e-editions, and all their websites have mobile versions.

Divisions

Scotland

  • Newsquest Herald & Times Group

Wales

  • Newsquest Wales & Gloucestershire

England: North East

  • Newsquest North East

England: North West

  • Newsquest Blackburn
  • Newsquest Bolton
  • Newsquest Guardian Series Newspapers
  • Newsquest Kendal
  • Newsquest Messenger Newspapers
  • Newsquest Ulverston
  • Newsquest Wirral Globe Series

England: Yorkshire

  • Newsquest Bradford
  • Newsquest York

England: West Midlands

  • Newsquest Midlands South

England: East of England

  • Newsquest Essex
  • Newsquest North London
  • Newsquest West Essex

England: South West

  • Newsquest Cornwall
  • Newsquest Dorset
  • Newsquest Somerset
  • Newsquest Wales & Gloucestershire
  • Newsquest Wiltshire

England: South East

  • Newsquest Hampshire
  • Newsquest London
  • Newsquest Oxfordshire
  • Newsquest Sussex

England: London

  • Newsquest East London
  • Newsquest London
  • Newsquest North London

Newsquest’s newspapers listed alphabetically

  • Address:
  • Newsquest Media Group Ltd
    58 Church Street
    WEYBRIDGE
    KT13 8DP
  • Tel:
  • 01932 821212
  • Fax:
  • 01932 836161




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