Papers for sale
Bidding war may see Herald and Scotsman share same owner
Scotland’s national titles could share the same owner
Scottish newspaper rivals The Herald and The Scotsman have come closer to sharing the same owner after it emerged that Herald owner Newsquest has joined a bidding war for 200 newspaper titles, including the Edinburgh daily.
Newsquest is believed to have “substantially” outbid a £50 million offer for JPI Media’s titles from Daily Record publisher Reach.
Reach, formerly Trinity Mirror, had been seen as the frontrunner in negotiations for the JPI Media titles which include the Falkirk Herald, Yorkshire Post and Sunderland Echo.
The bidding war for JPI Media’s assets exclude national daily the ‘i’ paper which is believed to be in the sights of the Daily Mail owner DMGT.
A deal with Newsquest, which owns the Herald on Sunday, The National, and Evening Times, would once have sparked competition concerns by acquiring The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News.
However, in today’s more plural media environment and with newspapers operating on wafer thin margins a merger is more likely to be viewed as a rescue deal.
In any case, The Guardian reports that Newsquest would seek to manage the Scotsman newspapers independently until the takeover was approved by public watchdogs.
Newsquest’s US parent, Gannett, the owner of USA Today, has been acquired by GateHouse Media.