The Romanes Media Group is a newspaper publishing group which has a substantial presence in central and southern Scotland (eg Greenock Telegraph, Dunfermline Press) but also in south-eastern England (eg Reading Chronicle), as well as one title in Northern Ireland (The Impartial Reporter).
The group’s history goes back to 1859, with the foundation of the Dunfermline Press by the Romanes family.
Companies House lists The Dunfermline Press Ltd as having been registered as a company in 1983. For many years it was led by Deirdre Romanes, an Irishwoman from Wicklow who moved to Britain in the 1960s and trained as a midwife before entering the newspaper business. She married into the Romanes family and joined the family business in the 1980s. Under her leadership the company expanded into Ireland, adding five titles from 2002-05. It moved into southern England in 2008 with the acquisition from Trinity Mirror of Berkshire Regional Newspapers (now Berkshire Media Group) and its 14 newspapers across Berkshire, western Surrey and north-eastern Hampshire.
A new company, Clyde & Forth Press, was set up in 1991. Latterly it traded as Clyde & Forth Media, the umbrella title for the whole group, although with several subsidiaries – Forth Weekly Press, Clyde Weekly Press, Ayrshire Weekly Press.
Deirdre Romanes died in May 2010 after a long battle with cancer. The Irish subsidiary, Celtic Media Group, was put up for sale the following August.
The Dunfermline Press Ltd – Clyde & Forth Media’s non-trading holding company – went into receivership for insolvency in April 2012, with debts reported as being in excess of £25 million. Its management bought it out and set up a new company, named Romanes Media Group Ltd in honour of Deirdre Romanes, although the Romanes family otherwise no longer have a connection with the company. Major creditor the Bank of Scotland owns 90 per cent of the company, the rest of the shares being held by the management.
- Ayrshire Weekly Press
- Clyde Weekly Press
- Forth Weekly Press
- William Trimble Ltd
England: South East
- Berkshire Media Group
- Romanes Media Group Ltd
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