Administration announced for Oldham’s 160-year-old newspaper
Hirst, Kidd and Rennie Ltd, which has produced the Oldham Evening Chronicle since Queen Victoria was on the throne, has now ceased trading. Administrators KPMG said the company was hit by “the changing nature of the local media landscape”.
Established in 1854, the Chronicle was produced alongside four monthly titles - the Oldham Extra, Saddleworth Extra, Tameside Extra and the Dale Times - as well as three quarterly magazines: Oldham Business Edge, The Knowledge and Primary Knowledge.
It has been reported that the majority of the paper’s 49 permanent staff will be made redundant.
Hirst, Kidd and Rennie also ran another company, Reader Holidays, which promoted package deals in the travel sector.
KPMG has appointed Paul Flint and Jonathan Maston as joint administrators, who say they intend to find a buyer for the newspaper to “ensure its heritage will be preserved”. As yet, none has been found.
The accountancy firm also clarified that anyone who had paid deposits to Reader Holidays would be contacted by the administrators and refunded “in due course”.
Flint said that aside from disruption in the local media sector, an “increasing deficit” in the firm’s defined benefits pension scheme lead to it being wound up.
He added: “Unfortunately despite a rigorous sales process, a buyer for this longstanding paper has not been found and it's not commercially viable to continue operating."
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