Local newspaper for Grenfell Tower in Kensington among four London newspaper titles under threat of closure - Press Gazette

Local newspaper for Grenfell Tower in Kensington among four London newspaper titles under threat of closure

The local newspaper for Kensington, scene of the Grenfell tower disaster, is one of five London local newspapers facing possible closure after going into administration.

Last month Press Gazette used the Kensington and Chelsea News to highlight the collapse of local newspaper publishing in London. In 1990 the title had ten journalists covering the borough, today it has no dedicated reporter – instead sharing resources with other titles in the group.

A former local journalist on the title told Press Gazette he was certain it would have picked up on residents’ fire safety concerns in the pre-internet era when it had more staff.

The title’s owner, Capital Media Newspapers, has gone into administration. The other titles in the group which are under threat of closure unless a buyer can be found are: the Fulham Chronicle, Hammersmith Chronicle and Shepherd’s Bush Chronicle.

In April Capital Media closed closed the Westminster News, leaving the Camden New Journal’s free West End Extra as the only local newspaper covering the borough.

Capital Media Newspapers was formed in January 2016 when a team of managers bought a group of newspaper titles in London and the West Country from Tindle Newspapers.

Its flagship title, the Streatham-based South London Press, and the Greenwich Mercury have been saved from closure after being bought by Romford-based leaflet distribution business Street Runners.

South London Press editor Hannah Walker was part of the Capital Media management buyout team alongside Philip Evans and Karen Sheppard.

Last week Capital Media’s View From series of newspapers covering Dorset, Devon and Somerset and the Experience magazine were bought out of administration by businessman Peter Masters – saving the jobs of 18 editorial staff.

In April Masters saved the Cornwall-based Sunday Independent after buying it when it faced closure.

Chris Newell, of Quantuma, was appointed admistrator of the titles on Friday.

He said: “He said: “I am pleased to report that we have been able to achieve two separate sales to third parties which has resulted in the majority of jobs being saved.

“There are various London titles which have not yet been sold which we are open to offers for and would welcome serious expressions of interest.”

Those interesting in taking ownership of the London titles should contact Newell via the Quantuma website.

Capital Media employs some 59 staff and eight have been made redundant so far as a result of the administration process.



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette