JPI Media to close another 10 regional titles

Mark Johnson's picture

London-based regional publisher JPI Media said it’s closing ten more newspapers because they are no longer viable.

The company, which bought the assets of debt laden, regional news group, Johnston Press last year, struggles to reduce its debt pile as fewer people buy or read printed newspapers.

Among the regional titles set for closure are paid-for weeklies the Morley Observer and Advertiser, Epworth Bells, Tyrone Times, Hawick News and Selkirk Weekend Advertiser, journalist news site, HoldtheFrontPage.co.uk, reported.

Joining them are free titles the Worthing Advertiser, Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra, Hayling Islander, Portsmouth View and Wharfe Valley Times.

The closures come after recent revelations of other closures, at the group. They include The Buteman, Bucks Advertiser and Thame Gazette, which will cease publication this week.

HtFP also reported that the Burnley Express is to move from bi-weekly to weekly publication on a Friday with the current Tuesday edition axed. 

No jobs affected

“The decision to close these titles has not been taken lightly, but it is crucial that we focus all our efforts on the long-term stability of the business and deliver newspapers and websites which can sustain our business for the long term”, HtFP quoted a JPIMedia spokesperson as saying.

“We would like to thank all our readers and advertisers for their support through the decades, and we hope they will understand why we have made this decision in these challenging times.

“We can also confirm that no jobs will be impacted by the closures.”

JPIMedia was formed last year as a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle, when Johnston Press was sold to its creditors.

Its flagship titles include UK-national newspaper the i, The Scotsman, the Yorkshire Post, the Falkirk Herald, and Belfast's The News Letter. 

Until today the company had 172 titles listed on its limited website. It once owned around 200 newspapers and associated websites around the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man.

Traditional publishing has been on the wane for years as owners struggled to adapt to the rise of the internet and social media outlets such as Facebook.

Advertisers have deserted print newspapers as more and more readers switch to online resources.

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