Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey has said the company won’t become “Northcliffe Two” – by announcing a quick sell-off of its regional newspaper titles.
Bailey was speaking as she announced a complete review of the activities of Britain’s largest newspaper publisher – which could see it sell off any of its newspapers assets.
This could include the national titles: the Mirror, Sunday Mirror, People, Daily Record and Sunday Mail – or any of its more than 200 regional newspaper titles.
The review follows half year results severely affected by what Bailey said was a cyclical economic downturn.
Profits were down 12.8 per cent to 98.1 million on turnover down 2.2 per cent to £566.6 million.
Bailey told analysts yesterday: “As a management team we have a duty to make sure this group stays ahead of the curve of change. Therefore as a natural and logical next step in our strategy we have announced a review of our businesses, our operating models and our struicture in order to determine the best way of taking the group forward.
“We have not taken a specific view on any particular outcome of the review. Nothing has been ruled in or ruled out.”
In response to questions, Bailey said Trinity Mirror would not be following the example of DMGT – which announced a similar review last November only to quickly place its regional newspaper division, Northcliffe, on the market and then u-turn three months later.
Bailey said: “This is not a Northcliffe two. Northcliffe I understand announced a strategic review then issued an information memorandum the next day or the next week.
“This is a full review as we have said of our businesses, our operating models and our structure. We are going to be looking at what we do, we are going to be looking at how we do it, we are going to be looking at how well we do it and we are going to be looking at why we do it and the cost of doing it – in order to understand the projections and value of those businesses over time.
“It’s a review and it’s too early to comment on what the outcome in any way shape or form will be.”
However she added: "We do believe in the future of newspapers, we wouldn’t be launching them otherwise. We believe that they have a vibrant future, but we think it’s an appropriate time to look at our portfolio in full, every business. every title – but it is too early to comment further than that.”