Reed sells newspaper interests

Publishing giant Reed Elsevier is to dispose of its newspaper publishing interests in the UK and Netherlands and its magazines and consumer books in the US.

Its IPC Magazines subsidiary, the UK magazine market leader, will remain its only consumer publishing company.

Reed will otherwise concentrate on business information and electronic publishing.

The company is now seeking a buyer for Reed Regional Newspapers, the UK’s fourth-largest selling regional newspaper group. The move comes just a week after the Thomson Corporation sold the bulk of Thomson Regional Newspapers to Trinity International.

Reed Regional Newspapers had revenues of 131m last year, 90 per cent of it generated by advertising. Ad sales are handled in-house by Reed Regional Sales.

Its areas of strength are the North-west, the Midlands and London.

O&M Media head of regional press Howard Bareham says the move illustrates Reed’s belief that regional newspapers have no long-term future.

“It is looking ten to 15 years down the line to a time when cable television will be the supplier of local information,” he says. “Costs have been rising and Reed is looking to streamline its business.”

The company is also disposing of Reed Consumer Books, Dutch newspaper publisher Dagladunie and the US consumer magazines produced by Cahners Publishing.

– Reed Regional Sales has appointed Peter Moore of Midland Independent Newspapers as national sales director.

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