THE Western People, along with a stable of newspapers owned by Landmark Media Investments, has been purchased by The Irish Times. The Cork based company succeeded Thomas Crosbie Holdings – a family-owned business and longtime publishers of the daily Irish Examiner and Evening Echo – when it went into receivership in 2013.
Landmark Media is owned by Tom and Ted Crosbie, members of the family which has owned Irish Examiner since the 19th century.
The Irish Examiner had been the subject of sale speculation for some time, with a reported company debt of some €16 million. According to an RTÉ report, AIB may write off around €10m of the debt as apart of its restructuring.
Other regional titles in the stable of newspapers acquired are: the Waterford News & Star, the Nationalist, the Kildare Nationalist, the Laois Nationalist, the Roscommon Herald and the Naas and Newbridge Nationalist. Other assets include a 75 percent stake in both WLR in Waterford and regional station Beat, and a 17.6 percent holding in Cork local station Red FM.
Landmark’s website interests comprise Breakingnews.ie, Recruitireland. com, and 75 per cent of Benchwarmers.ie. All these newspapers are already printing customers of The Irish Times.
National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Irish Secretary Séamus Dooley said: “We are seeking a meeting with management to explore the implications for staff and will be seeking assurances regarding security of employment in the newspapers and radio stations involved in the proposed acquisition. We welcome the assurance by Liam Kavanagh, Managing Director that the editorial integrity and independence of the titles will be maintained and I have already got an unambiguous assurance that trade union recognition will continue.”
First published in 1883, the first proprietor of The Western People was Terence De Vere.