Two different scenarios is the ever changing landscape of Local press. Celtic Media Group has been acquired but some of its management team and Johnston Press closes one of its titles and makes some editorial changes.

Celtic Media Group have acquired five titles from its (one time) parent Dunfermline Press at what can only be described as a fire sale in terms of the previous selling prices of the titles. They have acquired the titles for €5.5m in total – about 11 times less than the combined purchase price of the titles over the years. Not only have they purchased the titles, but also the print facilities in Navan.

Title Price (m) Year ABC Circ
Westmeath Examiner* 5,799
Westmeath Independent* €20 2004
Offaly Independent*
The Meath Chronicle €30 2001 10,862
The Anglo Celt €15 2004 12,310
€65
*Collective Sale

So, it’s not been a bad week for the management nor the 125 staff whose jobs are secured buy the change of ownership.

Hot on the heels of the takeover, Johnston Press  decided to close the Offaly Express which, at the last ABC, had a circulation 11,070. It’s a strange twist of faith for the Celtic Media Group who has just acquired the one of the only remaining (dedicated) Offaly regional titles – the Offaly Independent. That should hand them a nice increase in circulation if they can play their cards right.

Johnston Press have also decided to have “editorial clusters”: rather than have an editor for each paper – they are appointing one for Leitrim Observer and Longford Leader and another for the Leinster Express and Leinster Leader.