Sunday 28 October 2012

James Journal to get new owners?

Update 29 October

Here is Roy Greenslade's take on the news from the Guardian.


Blogger and journalist Jon Slattery has it from the Sunday Times that Daily Mail and General Trust is about to sell off its Northcliffe regional publishing group to David Montgomery for £110 million.

Montgomery, who originally comes from Northern Ireland, has a long and sometimes turbulent history in the newspaper publishing industry. He has at various times been editor of the News of the World, worked as a senior executive for Rupert Murdoch and run the Mirror Group following the death of the late and unlamented Robert Maxwell. From there he went on to found the Mecom Group, an investment company which was set up to invest in newspaper and media companies in Europe.

His time at Mecom was marked by a series of boardroom battles, and Montgomery hit the headlines in Germany when he acquired the Berliner Verlag group of left-leaning newspaper titles, with fears that he would undermine the editorial integrity of the newspapers.

Unsurprisingly, Montgomery has made quite a few enemies along the way. One of his fiercest critics is Richard Stott, former editor of the Daily Mirror, who wrote in 2006 that,

It is easy to form the impression he doesn't much take to the human race and the human race hasn't much taken to him. 

Editorial staff in Berlin described Montgomery as a locust who would descend on newspaper titles, strip them clean and then move on. He finally left Mecom at the beginning of 2011 following a shareholders' revolt.

Rumours that Montgomery has been interested in Northcliffe have been circulating for some time, and according to some, he is working in partnership with his former colleagues at Trinity Mirror plc. Trinity's titles in South Wales include the Western Mail and the South Wales Echo.

Whether any of this will come to pass remains to be seen, but unlike Berlin, one thing people in Carmarthenshire won't have to worry about is any attack on the editorial integrity of the Carmarthen Journal. Events will no doubt be closely monitored from County Hall, which has been dictating the paper's editorial line for the last couple of years.


caebrwyn said...

More on this published today;

And here;

Welsh Agenda said...

A very worrying development, a merged Trinity Mirror/Northcliffe outfit would own pretty much every daly and weekly newspaper published in Wales with the exception of the Argus and the Cambrian News.

There will be even more of a monopoly than there is now.

I'd like to say that I hope the Welsh Govt or some regulator will object and force them to sell some of the titles, but we all know that's not going to happen.