Britain’s first black newspaper, The Voice, is in talks about a possible takeover by the Gleaner group.
The Voice, based in Brixton, South London, has just celebrated its 21st anniversary with a relaunch and the addition of two new sections. The Gleaner’s titles are based in Jamaica but also it also publishes in North America and Britain.
A spokesman for The Voice said: “The Voice newspaper would like to acknowledge that we are in talks with the Gleaner but at this time no decisions or actions have been taken. “These are only initial discussions, which do not have a direct impact on the company or its employees. Specific information will be released as and when there’s something definite to report.”
The Voice relaunch coincided with the Notting Hill Carnival. The paper now includes a 12-page entertainment pullout called 24Seven featuring television columnist Choice FM DJ Geoff Schumann. And a monthly glossy magazine aimed at women has been launched called W2W.
On the news pages there has been a decision to include more news from Britain’s black communities outside London and more investigative pieces.
The Jobs section has been expanded to include business profiles, careers advice and finance.
Clare Gorham, formerly of the Richard Littlejohn show, has been commissioned to do the big interviews and Richard Blackwood has been taken on as a columnist. The paper was relaunched at the Notting Hill Carnival and the anniversary issue included tributes from Rageh Omaar, Doreen Lawrence, Dwain Chambers, Margherita Taylor, Lisa Maffia and Goldie.
Group editor Deidre Forbes said: “After 21 years, The Voice is still representing, still campaigning, still educating, and still the best.”
By Dominic Ponsford