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March 3, 2016updated 04 Mar 2016 1:43pm

Chief exec of the company formerly known as Emap says ‘you can’t commercialise news’

By Dominic Ponsford

You can't sell news any more, according to business publishing chief executive Duncan Painter.

The boss of Ascential (also formerlyand variously known as Emap, Top Right Group, Plexus, 4C and i2i) told Media Briefing:

    "The question for the brands is "is news as a product type dead?" I think the answer to the question 'can you commercialise news' is 'no you can't'.

    "What news does is create audiences, and the only way then that businesses who create audiences can stay in business is to monetise those audiences."

He adds: "We as a company are realising that we need to build products that provide industry analysis that our customers value because it re'ally helps them run their businesses more successfully or makes them operate in their markets more successfully.

"We would argue that we are not a news company and have not been for a long time. The vast majority of our revenues come from anything other than product lines related to news."

Events and publishing business Ascential publishes titles including Nursing Times, Retail Week and H&V News.

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