The chief executive of regional publisher Iliffe Media has bought the publisher of his local newspaper in West Berkshire.
Edward Iliffe, who lives in Yattendon, West Berkshire, has taken over the family-owned Newbury News as part of a joint venture with publisher Peter Fowler.
The group publishes the 152-year-old Newbury Weekly News, as well as weekly the Newbury and Thatcham Advertiser, news website Newbury Today and quarterly magazine Out & About.
The sale was completed yesterday for an undisclosed amount, with the newly formed Newbury News and Media set to integrate within the Iliffe Media group’s operations.
NWN had moved its printing to Iliffe’s presses in Cambridge last year after closing its own press in Newbury.
Iliffe Media formed in September 2016 with the launch of weekly the Cambridge Independent. It owns some 30 local newspapers, including the Kent Messenger group, which it bought in 2017, and the Bury Free Press, as well as a dozen local magazine titles.
The group made a £4.7m pre-tax loss on revenues of £22.1m for the year to the end of March 2018.
Iliffe said: “Iliffe Media, with its long heritage as an independent family-run media business, believes in the future of local newspaper publishing across all platforms and we now look forward to working in a positive way with our new colleagues and the communities they serve.
“I am also pleased to have the association with Peter Fowler in this new venture in Newbury. Peter has worked with the Iliffe family for many years and brings with him a wealth of publishing experience.”
Newbury Weekly News chief executive James Gurney said: “The Newbury Weekly News is a successful and much-loved title and Edward Iliffe lives right here in Yattendon, in the heart of West Berkshire.
“I am delighted that the paper will remain independent. Over the past ten years the industry has become increasingly challenging for smaller independently owned local newspaper publishers.
“The completion of this deal will allow us to plug into a larger group where there are opportunities to share resources and ideas, as well as to invest in exciting new initiatives that will help ensure we continue to engage with the local community, producing exceptional content that covers our entire diverse area.”