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Change of ownership at local publisher and broadcaster Quest Media Network following HMRC winding-up petition

Not Really Here Group has announced the acquisition of the assets of North West local newspaper and radio group Quest Media Network.

The acquisition follows the second hearing of an HMRC winding up petition for Quest on June 5, as well as a notice of compulsory strike off published in The Gazette on March 19. That notice was suspended on March 29 and discontinued on April 6 as “cause has been shown why the above company should not be struck off the register.”

The acquisition includes popular assets such as Tameside Reporter, Tameside Radio, the Glossop Chronicle, and Oldham Reporter.

Not Really Here Group was incorporated on March 14, and its leadership team consists of former Manchester City COO, Raheem Sterling Foundation CEO and EQ Esports and Bird Consultancy founder Chris Bird and Bird Consultancy, and now Not Really Here Group CEO Emma Marsh, the same team that led Quest Media Network previously.

Operations will continue uninterrupted, and Not Really Here Group assured audiences that they would continue to receive the local coverage they have come to expect from the group’s titles.

Not Really Here said in a statement: “Not Really Here Group is delighted to announce the successful acquisition of assets from Quest Media Network, including key local media outlets Tameside Reporter, Tameside Radio, the Glossop Chronicle, and Oldham Reporter. This acquisition marks a significant commitment for the Not Really Here Group’s media division and ensures these established community resources will continue to operate and serve their audiences without interruption.

“The acquisition follows the completion of a strategic restructuring of Quest Media Network, aimed at enhancing the efficiency and stability of the acquired entities. This move enables Not Really Here Group to integrate these assets into its new portfolio, promising a blend of tradition and innovation in ‘Hyper Local’ media coverage.

“With this acquisition, Not Really Here Group assures all stakeholders and the community that all operations of the acquired media outlets will continue as normal. The existing staff and senior management will be retained to preserve the local essence and continuity of these media sources.

The inclusion of Tameside Reporter, Tameside Radio, the Glossop Chronicle, and Oldham Reporter into Not Really Here Group’s holdings is expected to bring fresh perspectives to these established names while maintaining their editorial independence and commitment to truthful, community-focused journalism.”

CEO Marsh added: “We are thrilled to bring about this restructure through a smooth transition into the new group. This acquisition is not just an expansion of our ‘futures’ portfolio but a reaffirmation of our commitment to quality journalism and community service. We believe in the strength and potential of these platforms and are excited to lead the existing management team and employees into their next journey to ‘Hyper Local’ growth.”

Not Really Here Group said it is committed to excellence and innovation across its business sectors: “We are excited to further enrich the media landscape and ensure our newspapers, radio station and digital network continue to serve as valuable sources of news, information and entertainment. The group will announce its new board structure and Chair in the next few days,” it went on.

“Not Really Here Group is a new, diversified group with interests across various sectors including events, public relations and sport. Our strategic investment and management, aims to foster growth and innovation in every venture we undertake.”

The nod to Bird’s Manchester City association in the new name will not be lost on the Blue half of the city. The ‘We’re Not Really Here’ song became popular around the time of Alan Ball’s tenure in the nineties, expressing fans’ disbelief as they tumbled to the third tier of English football. More recently it has been repurposed to express a similar sense of disbelief at the four-in-a-row Premier League winning, 2023 treble winners’ equally unexpected, though significantly more welcome, success.

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