The New European bought by founder and Archant content boss Matt Kelly

The New European Matt Kelly

The New European has been bought from Archant by its founder and former editor Matt Kelly with investment from ex-Financial Times editor Lionel Barber and ex-New York Times chief executive Mark Thompson.

Kelly (pictured), who launched the Remainer newspaper in 2016 and edited it for three years, has left his role as Archant chief content officer as part of the move.

Kelly is now chief executive officer and editor-in-chief for the title, backed by a consortium of investors, while former Independent chief executive Gavin O’Reilly has been named executive chairman.

Three New European journalists have left Archant to stay with the title: editor Jasper Copping, digital editor Jono Read and digital reporter Adrian Zorzut.

Archant will continue to provide design, page layout, back-office support and printing services for the weekly newspaper.

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Kelly said he hopes “the next chapter of The New European will see it grow into a permanent fixture in the UK publishing landscape, playing a part in the debate around the country’s future progress”.

According to an all-staff Archant email, seen by Press Gazette, Kelly said: “I am very sad to be leaving a wonderful group of colleagues, who have shown such creativity, intelligence and passion for the future of local journalism, not to mention sheer hard graft. Five years have flown by.

“Archant is today recognised as a force in media innovation and I am excited to see what the next five years brings under fresh stewardship.”

Kelly told Press Gazette in January last year The New European had a “solid subscriber base” of 8,500 people and sold some 10,000 copies a week on the newsstand.

It was originally planned as a pop-up launch to cater to the 48% of voters who backed Remain for just four weeks after the EU referendum, but proved a “surprising success” and has been publishing ever since.

[Read more: Remainer title The New European looks to be platform for ‘radical centre’ in post-Brexit Britain]

Kelly last year slated it as a potential home to “radical ideas about the future of Britain and Europe” and as a platform for the “radical centre”.

Kelly will be replaced as chief content officer by Jeremy Clifford, who will join on 8 March.

Clifford this month left his role as editor-in-chief at rival regional publisher JPI Media after six years following David Montgomery’s buyout of the business with plans to make it less centralised.

Clifford said: “I am delighted to be joining Archant and working with the team in helping to shape future strategy.

“The digital development of the business is essential to its success and I am looking forward to meeting and working with the editorial leaders in shaping the next stage in this development.”

Picture: Archant

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15 thoughts on “The New European bought by founder and Archant content boss Matt Kelly”

  1. Matt Kelly was well known at the Mirror as a nasty little bully. After five or six years he was finally let go. Ask Eugene Duffy. I still remember him being taken into his office. Even for Fleet Street, he was too extreme. It should have happened earlier. He routinely described the sectaries working under him as ‘bitches’. I know, as I saw that. Ejected from the mainstream media, this small little man is now friends with Alastair Campbell, another small bully. Together they’re probably perfect.

    1. Peter, as opposed to the Matt Kelly at Archant who always seemed to shut himself away in his office and never appeared to interact at all with any of his underlings. You’d be forgiven for thinking that he thought they were all country bumpkins in Norfolk. Telling that when he started The New European the only person he took from the Norwich editorial team had once worked for the Telegraph…

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