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June 17, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:56am

JPI Media set to close ten local newspapers across UK

By James Walker

JPI Media has unveiled plans to axe a further ten regional newspapers, from Portsmouth to Glasgow, as it looks to shore up the “long-term stability of the business”.

The regional publisher said no jobs would be lost as a result of the closures with staff moving to work at its other titles.

The shuttered newspapers comprise paid-for weekly titles:

  • Morley Observer and Advertiser
  • Tyrone Times
  • Epworth Bells
  • Hawick News
  • Selkirk Weekend Advertiser
  • (and the Tuesday edition of the bi-weekly Burnley Express).

Also closing are free weeklies:

  • Worthing Advertiser
  • Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra
  • Portsmouth View
  • Wharfe Valley Times
  • and the Hayling Islander.

The cuts follow closures of The Buteman, Bucks Advertiser and Thame Gazette weekly papers.

A JPI Media spokesperson said: “The decision to close these titles has not been taken lightly, but it is crucial that we focus all our efforts on the long-term stability of the business and deliver newspapers and websites which can sustain our business for the long term.

“We would like to thank all our readers and advertisers for their support through the decades, and we hope they will understand why we have made this decision in these challenging times.”

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JPI Media was formed by Johnston Press creditors when the publisher went into administration last year.

Speaking to Press Gazette, a JPI Media source said staff had been told titles would not be closing for at least a year the pre-pack administration deal agreed in November.

They said: “The alternative is that [JPI Media editor-in-chief] Jeremy Clifford was telling the truth, and that JPI Media really have had to panic into closing these titles only in the last few weeks.

“If that’s the case then we should all be worried and we should be ready to bail.”

JPI Media announced in April that it was looking to make up to 70 editorial redundancies across the UK, exempting national title The i paper.

A month before that it announced that it was closing eight newspaper offices and moving staff based in 19 leasehold offices.

Paywalls have also been rolled out to three titles since the start of the year as part of a trial amid concern over falling advertising revenues.

JPI Media is owned by former Johnston Press bondholders Goldentree Asset Management, Carval Investors, Benefit Street Partners and Fidelity.

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