The New European bought by founder Matt Kelly - Press Gazette

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

The New European Brexit Britain

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

  1. “Deepee”
    I don’t know about the ‘buy it or close it’ ultimatum but the celebrations and cheers once word got round about Kellys departure were long and loud believe me!

  2. Archant Outsider
    The new head of content has started to undo the mess made by Kelly by progressing decentralisation and putting local staffers back to district areas,and whilst he cannot undo the immense damage to the business, its products,reputation and credibility across Norfolk,he is most definitely making a good start

    It’s shocking to think Kelly was allowed free reign to wreak havoc to a business which needed the experienced hand of someone who understood regional publishing,and allowed him to preoccupy himself with his own agenda and focus on his personal vanity project leaving those beneath him, many out of their depths in senior editorial positions , to do his bidding unquestioning and without consideration for anyone other themselves,so its no wonder the business is in the place it’s in and needed a buy out to save it from collapse

    A step in the right direction at least and one which should be applauded

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