Posts tagged "Trinity Mirror"

Sue Douglas to head Trinity Mirror subsidiary, including Sunday People

Ex-Sunday Express editor to be joined by Rupert Howell in division that will include the Sunday Mail and regional titles

Former Sunday Express editor Sue Douglas is to join Trinity Mirror to take charge of the Sunday People, weeks after her plans to buy a majority stake in the title were rejected by the publisher.

Douglas will be publishing director of a wholly-owned Trinity Mirror subsidiary, which will be chaired by ex-ITV commercial chief Rupert Howell, who was also involved in her bid to buy a controlling stake in the Sunday People.

The new subsidiary, Sunday Brands, will also include the Sunday Mail in Scotland, Wales on Sunday and regional titles the Sunday Mercury in Birmingham and Sunday Sun in Newcastle – but exclude the Sunday Mirror.

James Scott, the editor of the Sunday People, will report into Douglas. Reporting lines will remain the same for the editors of the other titles in the group, with a “dotted line” into Douglas.

“I’ve spent the last two years pursuing a dream to revitalise this part of the media market, so I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to lead the re-vamp of the Sunday People under James Scott’s editorship, as well as develop the other Sunday titles,” said Douglas. “This is a chance to put energy, fun and great journalism into what will become a seven-day digital, one-day print operation.”

As a group the Sunday Brands titles will have combined sales of more than 800,000 copies every week.

The Sunday People, the flagship brand of the new division, had a circulation of 421,055 copies, according to the most recent Audit Bureau of Circulations report.

The Sunday Mail in Scotland has an average circulation of 292,591, Wales on Sunday sells 22,660 copies per week, the Sunday Sun has 40,569 copy sales and the Sunday Mercury 34,270.

Trinity Mirror senior executives are understood to have been impressed with the business pitch for the Sunday People made by Douglas and Howell, and looked to bring them on board after deciding against accepting a bid and ceding control of the title.

“We have got to know Sue and Rupert well over the last few months and are really delighted that they have agreed to join us,” said Fox. “Ours is a talent and content business, so to attract talent of this calibre is a real coup.”

Douglas’s firm, Phoenix Ventures, began talks with Trinity Mirror about taking a stake late last year, although raising funds of up to £10m to secure a deal is understood to have proved difficult.

Last month, Trinity Mirror called an official end to sale discussions, but had for some time been looking at other ways of working with the pair.

Douglas has been looking to get involved in the Sunday newspaper market since Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World in 2011.

The pair believe that there is a huge opportunity to hoover up the 1.3 million-plus reader who did not gravitate to a rival title after the Sunday tabloid’s closure, and that there is unrealised potential in developing daily digital-only editorial products in conjunction with Sunday print titles.

“The group faces a number of challenges in common with the rest of the sector, but is blessed with a fantastic stable of titles across the UK, and the determination to pursue its clear strategy to transform its fortunes and build a dynamic and growing media business,” said Howell.

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Posted by admin - June 3, 2013 at 19:15

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Trinity Mirror: ‘too soon’ to know outcome of phone-hacking inquiry

Publisher brought in an external law firm to investigate allegations against six current and former journalists

Trinity Mirror has said that it still “too soon” to know the outcome of an investigation it has ordered by an external law firm into the arrest of six current and former journalists over allegations of phone hacking and making inappropriate payments to public officials.

The publisher, which is also fighting off allegations made in four civil claims of phone hacking from well-known figures including Sven Goran Eriksson, gave the legal update as part of a financial report published on Thursday.

Trinity Mirror, which revealed a 13% year-on-year decline in advertising revenues for 2013 to date, said it is continuing to take the allegations seriously.

“We will not accept wrongdoing within our businesses and take these allegations seriously,” the company said on Thursday. “In addition to co-operating with the police we have asked external lawyers to investigate all the allegations that have been made against our employees. It is too soon to know how these matters will progress and further updates will be made if there are any significant developments.”

In March the publisher was rocked by the arrest of Sunday People editor James Scott and Tina Weaver, the ex-Sunday Mirror editor, over allegations of phone hacking relating to the Sunday Mirror between 2003 and 2004.

The other two arrested in March were Nick Buckley, the deputy Sunday People editor, and Mark Thomas, the former People editor, who also both formerly worked for the Sunday Mirror.

Last year former Mirror journalist Greig Box-Turnbull was arrested in connection with Operation Elveden probe into alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

“The company continues to co-operate with the police in their investigations and none of the journalists have been charged,” the company reiterated on Thursday.

Trinity Mirror also said that its application to the high court to get two of the four civil claims of alleged phone hacking struck out is still progressing.

“An application has been made to the court (which is yet to be heard) to have two of those claims struck out in their entirety as having no reasonable prospect of success, and the general basis of the other two claims has been challenged,” the company said.

In its financial update Trinity Mirror said that while the advertising market remained tough, the rate of decline in total revenues has improved thanks to sales and a cover price rise at the Daily Mirror.

The publisher, which holds its annual general meeting later on Thursday, said the advertising market “remains difficult” with digital advertising revenues declining year on year.

Despite this digital decline online display ad income grew 8% in the year to date, with a 13% boost in March and April.

The company said that its digital business is showing good growth with unique users up 25% year on year and page views up 36% year on year in the three months to the end of March.

Trinity Mirror said it was buoyed by a significant improvement in circulation revenues, which were down 13% year on year across January and February, which improved to just a 3% fall in March and April. For the year to date, circulation revenues are down 8%.

“The Daily Mirror in particular continues to achieve volume trends [sales] better than the market,” the company said.

“Revenue trends have improved over the 17-week period [to 28 April] despite the trading environment remaining challenging,” the publisher said. “We continue to expect an improvement in the rate of decline in revenues as we progress through the year as the benefit of our strategic initiatives start to take effect.”

Trinity Mirror said that it is on target to achieve £10m in cost savings this year.

The company’s pension deficit grew marginally to £300.9m as at the end of March.

Net debt has fallen by £25m to £132m in the period to 28 April.

Trinity Mirror has £35m in cash and said that it is due to make a £55m payment on private placement loan notes in October.

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Mark Sweney


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Posted by admin - May 16, 2013 at 10:33

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Trinity Mirror to strengthen national and regional newspaper links

Journalists from Trinity Mirror’s regional papers are to get two-week work placements on the publisher’s national titles, reports HoldTheFrontPage.

The project, which starts next month, is aimed at strengthening relationships between its newsrooms. It will also involve exchange visits by groups of staff from the national titles – the Daily and Sunday Mirror, The People and Daily Record – to regional offices.

In a further development, an editorial forum is being set up to help journalists understand how the company’s commercial departments work plus a “masterclass” programme with various speakers, such as Labour leader Ed Miliband and associate editor Kevin Maguire.

Source: HoldTheFrontPage

Roy Greenslade


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Posted by admin - April 29, 2013 at 13:28

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Draft alternative royal charter on press regulation

Read a pdf of the draft royal charter drawn up by News International, Telegraph Media Group, Associated Newspapers, Trinity Mirror and Express Newspapers


    



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Posted by admin - April 25, 2013 at 23:27

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UK newspaper advertising facing bleak forecast for 2013

National titles to record 9% decline with display revenue falling below £1bn for the first time, according to Group M analysis

The ailing UK newspaper advertising market is set to get even worse next year with national titles forecast to face an almost 9% decline that will see display revenue fall below £1bn for the first time, according to Sir Martin Sorrell’s Group M.

Despite a slight improvement in the outlook for regional newspapers in 2013, a second year of double-digit ad decline will see advertising in this sector also dip below the £1bn mark for the first time. In 2005 the regional newspaper advertising market was worth more than £2.5bn.

Group M, WPP’s media buying division, has significantly downgraded its forecast for national newspapers for 2012, from a prediction in July of a 6.3% year-on-year ad revenue decline for the full 12 months to a 7.7% drop in its December report.

Beleaguered publishers, who are already attempting to deal with a £250m shortfall versus predictions for total UK newspaper advertising this year, will not find any respite in Group M’s latest forecast for 2013.

The market is set to get worse, with Group M’s prediction back in the summer of a 5% year on year fall in 2013 now downgraded to an 8.6% decline.

Total national newspaper advertising market revenue fall from £1.19bn this year to £1.09bn in 2013, according to Group M.

“Advertiser budgets are more short-term than ever, if that were possible,” notes Group M. “The default starting point for 2013 print budget planning is 2012 minus ‘x’.”

Within this display advertising at national titles is forecast to fall 9% year-on-year, to £928m, the first time it has fallen below £1bn. Classified advertising in national titles will fall 5.9%, to just £160m.

Group M has slightly improved its outlook for regional newspapers next year between its summer and winter reports, albeit the advertising decline remains double-digit and will still take the sector below the £1bn mark for the first time.

The WPP media buying business has improved its view of the regional market from an 11.1% year-on-year fall in 2013 published in July, to a 10.4% drop.

Total spend on regional newspaper advertising is projected to fall from about £1.09bn this year to £971m at the end of next year.

Group M said that despite real issues in the regional market there has been success with sales body AMRA, which represents the publishers including Trinity Mirror and Daily Mail & General Trust and aims to offer “national” advertising reach.

“Regional print is [already] in trouble but there is a widespread advertiser perception that the problem, in display anyway, is even more serious than it is already,” said Group M. “AMRA’s The National [initiative] is a bright spot, generally thought to be regional [newspapers’] best-ever shot at the national advertiser pound. One certainty is that it could do with more demand.”

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Posted by admin - December 11, 2012 at 22:00

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Trinity Mirror share value up after tablet strategy unveiled

Price hits 22-month high after much-delayed announcement as publisher unveils plans for free weekday Daily Mirror e-edition

Shares in Trinity Mirror hit a 22-month high after the publisher of the Daily Mirror revealed its long-awaited tablet strategy.

The publisher unveiled its much-delayed tablet plans for a free Monday to Friday e-edition of the Daily Mirror and Daily Record, in which non UK users will be charged £4.99 for seven-day access.

UK users will be able to access 10 regional e-editions of the Daily Mirror.

Tablet editions will be rolled out in the first six months of next year for the Mirror’s national stablemate the People as well as for key regional titles, including the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News.

Trinity Mirror’s mobile strategy has lagged a number of its rivals with a promise by former chief executive, Sly Bailey, to launch tablet editions by the summer left unfilled as a management upheaval gripped the publisher.

Trinity Mirror’s share price hit 89p, an 8.5% rise on Friday’s close, at lunch time on Monday as investors warmed to news about the digital roll-out.

The share price slipped back a little to 87p, a 6% rise, by 4pm. Trinity Mirror’s share price last hit 89p back in mid-February 2011.

“The e-edition is brimming with the energy and creativity that will extend the reach of our journalism to new and wider audiences,” said Lloyd Embley, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People.

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Posted by admin - December 3, 2012 at 19:16

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David Montgomery: Local World will kickstart regional newspaper fightback

Non-executive chairman promises to stop rounds of cost-cutting as his firm takes control of 110 regional titles

• DMGT sells regional titles to Local World for £52.5m

David Montgomery has pledged that Local World will kickstart a “fightback” in the ailing regional newspaper industry, and promised to shy away from the endless rounds of cost-cutting which have hammered the sector.

Montgomery said Local World – which brings together the 110 titles run by Daily Mail & General Trust’s Northcliffe Media and Iliffe News & Media, including the Leicester Mercury, Bristol Post and Cambridge News, and counts Trinity Mirror as a 20% shareholder – will be a “one-stop shop” serving content to local communities.

Local World is also backed by former Tory party treasurer Lord Ashcroft, and hedge fund manager Crispin Odey’s Odey Asset Management.

Montgomery, Local World’s non-executive chairman, said the venture intends to expand into areas such as local directories, similar to Yellow Pages services, and sees no reason why digital giants such as Google should own the space.

“People live and work locally, their interest is in the next street, not a million miles away,” said Montgomery. “Interest in local is never going to go, it is never going to be replaced by Google, Yahoo and AOL. It is time we galvanised the whole newspaper industry to pursue this course and restore the pride. It is a bit of a fightback if you like.”

He admitted that there would need to be a wholesale restructure of the business to fulfil his digital-led vision.

Journalists will be expected to self-publish more and operational responsibility will be devolved to publishing areas under the mantra “local content, local sales, local management”.

“We are going to stop the trend of cost reductions for the sake of cost reductions. We are going to grow the business and invest in people. We are prepared for a fightback in local publishing in many different forms,” Montgomery said on Wednesday, after deals with DMGT, Trinity Mirror and Iliffe to create the joint venture were confirmed.

During his time running Mirror Group Newspapers in the 1990s, and more recently running pan-European publisher Mecom, he had a reputation as a brutal cost-cutter.

Nevertheless Montgomery, who holds a stake in the Local World, said £10m has been made available to invest in the digital transformation of the business over the next 18 months.

“We will concentrate many of our efforts on digital and mobile, the local opportunity for content distribution is immense,” he said, adding that the venture also remained committed to print.

“We haven’t lost faith in print, anything but that. The stable [of titles] will survive for generations to come. Local publishing is not going to die, the mechanism of distribution will change but print will continue to have its place.”

Montgomery said Local World is starting with a “clean sheet” with Northcliffe’s former parent company DMGT, which holds a 38.7% stake in the new venture, taking on responsibility for pension liabilities.

Local World also has no debt and will not own printing presses, a move Montgomery referred to as “leaving behind the industrial baggage of print, but not newspapers”.

Analysts were underwhelmed at the value of the deal for DMGT, which received £52.5m as well as the stake in Local World.

Alastair Reid at UBS said the £14.2m that Trinity Mirror paid on Wednesday for a 20% stake in Local World implies the equity value of the total venture is about £71m.

This means Northcliffe is valued at about £80m, only four times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. Analysts at Citi said the deal implies Northcliffe was valued at a slightly higher figure of about £90m.

The estimates are below the £100m to £130m that DMGT hoped it would get for the business. DMGT turned down a £1bn offer for Northcliffe in February 2006.

After an initial dip on Wednesday morning, DMGT’s share price was up slightly, by 1p or 0.21%, to 474p at about 1pm.

Investors have wanted DMGT to get rid of its regional newspaper assets for sometime, with the price less important that the “long-awaited positive step” of a move toward regional newspaper consolidation.

Trinity Mirror’s share price briefly hit a new 52-week high of 84.78p on Wednesday morning following the announcement of its £14.2m investment for a 20% stake in Local World.

However it is not committing any of its regional newspaper assets to the venture at this stage, with Montgomery saying that there is no clause in the deal setting out an agreement or timeline for moving them into Local World.

Montgomery said Local World does not face any regulatory or competition issues.

Analysts at Credit Suisse estimated that about £14m of investment in Local World has come from “other investors” – which include Artefact Group, the investment fund affiliated with Ashcroft, and Odey Asset Management.

Montgomery would not confirm the amount injected by other investors.

Steve Auckland, the Northcliffe boss who will take the role of chief executive at Local World, admitted that the digital strategy would not work relying on “banner and button” advertising.

Local World will be headquartered in Leceister and have an office in London.

The venture’s 110 titles include 16 dailies, 36 paid weeklies, 40 free weeklies and the franchises for free morning paper Metro in Bristol and the east Midlands.

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Posted by admin - November 21, 2012 at 23:00

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Mirror Group journalists questioned by company lawyers over alleged hacking

Journalists on Trinity Mirror’s national titles interviewed by lawyers as part of internal investigation into phone hacking

Journalists at Mirror Group Newspapers are being formally interviewed by company lawyers in response to legal action launched last month over alleged phone hacking.

Several journalists working on Trinity Mirror’s national titles answered questions from company lawyers on Friday last week as part of the company’s internal investigation into the phone-hacking claims.

Simon Fox, the Trinity Mirror chief executive, initiated an internal review after the solicitor Mark Lewis lodged civil claims on behalf of ex-England manager Sven Göran-Eriksson and three other claimants.

Company insiders indicated that the review was in its infancy and that the interviews were part of a fact-finding exercise. The lawyers will report to Trinity Mirror chairman David Grigson when it is complete.

The internal review is being carried out by Trinity Mirror’s internal legal department and relates directly to the four civil claims brought by Eriksson, the Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati, former footballer Garry Flitcroft, and Abbie Gibson, the ex-nanny to David and Victoria Beckham’s children.

It is understood that the four civil claims have been filed at the high court but not yet served on Trinity Mirror. The company’s Mirror Group Newspapers division owns the Daily and Sunday Mirror as well as the People.

Fox told staff in an email on 24 October that it would be “irresponsible” of him not to ask company lawyers to examine the claims relating to the three newspapers.

He added: “My clear observations over my first few weeks at Trinity Mirror are that the company operates to the appropriate ethical standards and our editorial procedures and processes are robust. As we have consistently said, all our journalists work within the criminal law and the Press Complaints Commission code of practice.”

Last year Trinity Mirror obtained written guarantees from several serving editorial executives that they had not engaged in phone hacking or other illegal newsgathering methods over the past 11 years.

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Posted by admin - November 7, 2012 at 21:18

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Trinity Mirror shares drop 18% due to fear of costs over phone-hacking claims

Publisher of Daily Mirror had £25m wiped off market value following news Sir Justice Vos will manage four hacking claims

Trinity Mirror’s share price slumped as much as 18% on Friday, as jittery investors wiped £25m off its market value over fears the company may have to pay damages over alleged phone hacking.

The Daily Mirror publisher’s share price slumped to 50p after 11am, 11p or 18% below Thursday’s close, following news emerging from the high court in London. This share price drop wiped about £28m from Trinity Mirror’s market capitalisation to £128.8m.

Trinity Mirror’s share price rallied slightly later in the day, closing down nearly 16% to 51.25p – giving the company a market capitalisation of £132m, down £25m on the previous day’s closing value.

The City took fright after high court judge Mr Justice Vos announced on Friday morning that he planned to manage the four phone-hacking claims filed against Trinity Mirror’s newspapers earlier this week.

Vos is overseeing more than 150 civil damages claims for alleged News of the World phone hacking.

Trinity Mirror’s share price fell more than 12% on Tuesday after news of the civil claims first emerged.

The company is facing four civil claims by former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson; former footballer Garry Flitcroft; actor Shobna Gulati, who played Sunita Alahan in Coronation Street and Anita in Dinnerladies; and Abbie Gibson, the former nanny to David and Victoria Beckham’s children.

Trinity Mirror’s recently appointed chief executive, Simon Fox, announced on Wednesday that the company was launching an investigation into the allegations, reportedly after calls for such a move from some of the company’s biggest shareholders.

“Even though we have yet to receive the legal claims which have been reported on, it would be irresponsible of me not to ask our lawyers to look into the four claims that have attracted this recent attention,” said Fox.

“My clear observations over my first few weeks at Trinity Mirror are that the company operates to the appropriate ethical standards and our editorial procedures and processes are robust. As we have consistently said, all our journalists work within the criminal law and the Press Complaints Commission code of practice.”

Fox said that he was “deeply concerned” in the “absence of evidence [how] four unsubstantiated claims can attract publicity of such magnitude”.

Investors have become jumpy about any potential threat to the publisher’s balance sheet should the civil cases result in damages payments.

Trinity Mirror has consistently denied that its papers were involved in phone hacking. On Tuesday when the civil claims were first revealed, a spokesman said: “As we have previously stated, all our journalists work within the criminal law and the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct.”

The company is profitable, but it does not have the same financial resources as News International, backed by News Corporation, to pay any damages or legal costs relating to alleged phone hacking.

Analyst Jonathan Barrett of Singer pointed out that the company’s share price has risen in recent weeks, following the arrival of Fox and the announcement of a cost-saving merger of the national and regional newspaper divisions. Last week, the shares hit 75.25p, their highest point since February 2011.

“I would expect the stock to be volatile while they continue to work their way through the allegations,” Barrett said.

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Posted by admin - October 26, 2012 at 22:18

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Trinity Mirror promotes Lloyd Embley to editor-in-chief role

Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror editor to take on new role as part of management restructure at newspaper publisher

Lloyd Embley, the editor of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, has been promoted to editor-in-chief as part of a senior management restructure at publisher Trinity Mirror.

Embley, who will take on overall responsibility for Trinity Mirror’s other national title, the People, took over the editorship of its sister papers in May following the ousting of Richard Wallace and Tina Weaver.

Paula Scott, the publishing director of Trinity’s magazines, has been promoted to a similar role across the national titles.

David Emin, the director of national newspaper advertising at Trinity Mirror, has been promoted to a new role as managing director of sales and marketing across the entire publishing group.

The announcement comes a week after Simon Fox, the former HMV chief who took the reins at Trinity Mirror last month, merged the publisher’s national and regional newspaper operations.

Fox’s restructure saw the promotion of head of national titles Mark Hollinshead, who lost out on the role running Trinity Mirror to Fox, to chief operating officer of the combined operation.

As a result of the merger, Georgina Harvey, who has run the regional operation since 2005, will leave the company.

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Posted by admin - October 22, 2012 at 19:15

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