Friday, February 3, 2017

Hanging on

In the struggle for the future of local journalism, Johnston Press CEO Ashley Highfield is relying rather a lot on the crutch of a national daily. Figures for 2016 show total revenue down 6%, but they would have been down 14%, if not for contributions from the 'i' newspaper - priced 40p a day, 50p on Saturday, or £1.86 a week with the digital app thrown in.

Unfortunately, company debt - including the cash used to buy the 'i' - remains a large and looming problem. Advisers Rothschild are hunting for a cunning plan; activist investors are looking for board changes; the weak pound is putting up ink and print prices; a year ago the share price was 40p, now its around 16p, making the whole operation vulnerable to predators.

Let's see how many of the BBC's 138  'free' reporters Ashley secures for JP.

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