Northcliffe Media, the publishing group whose titles include the Carmarthen Journal, Llanelli Star, South Wales Evening Post and Swansea Herald of Wales, is rumoured to have been sold for £90 million. The identity of the buyer is not yet known, but is said not to be one of the "usual suspects".
The group is a division of the Daily Mail and General Trust, and is understood to have been looking for new owners for some time. Earlier this year, Northcliffe was said to be valued at £150 million, which was roughly a tenth of what it was estimated to have been worth five years ago (see article here).
The plummeting value of the group, which publishes more than 80 local papers, shows just how desperate times have become for the local press as titles haemorrhage readers and advertising revenue. That in turn has made them all the more vulnerable to town hall bullies, with Carmarthenshire County Council leading the field.
Watch this space. Who knows, perhaps we could soon be reading the Carmarthen Journal courtesy of the Xinhua News Agency? Now that really would be something for County Hall to celebrate.
Hat tip to Alex Smith for this.