CN Group to be sold to Newsquest

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

CN Group has confirmed that it is on the verge of being acquired by Newsquest.

The family-owned independent publisher recently sold its broadcast stations  The Bay and Lakeland Radio to Global and now it’s seeking to offload its print assets.

Newsquest would be buying The Mail in Barrow and the News & Star, which is based in Carlisle. The publisher also operates The Cumberland News, Hexham Courant, Workington Times & Star, Whitehaven News and the Advertiser.

The company revealed the news to staff and shareholders this morning - and completion is expected shortly after a shareholder meeting on March 9th.

Chairman, Robin Burgess explained the decision was to protect the “long term future of the group, its staff and its pensioners.”

“A member of my family has run this company for the past four generations so this sale is the end of an era and is tinged with sadness. However our ability to prosper as a medium sized independent group, in light of digital and social media developments, has become increasingly difficult and it is clear that the challenges will only get harder,” he explained.

“Faced with these and other issues, including the pension deficit, we came to the conclusion that a sale of the publishing business is the best way forward for all our stakeholders. We are confident that under new ownership the group’s titles and sites will continue to serve their communities as they have in the past.” 

Miller Hogg, CEO, added: 

“It is vitally important for a local media company like CN to be part of a larger and committed regional media group like Newsquest. We still remain a local company with local brands serving the local community. This deal will provide certainty for our local staff for a sustainable future and with a media group capable of investing for the print and digital world we live in.”

Last year, Newsquest acquired NWN Media in North Wales.

“We look forward to the opportunity of working with the CN Group, its staff and the community it represents in building on their great local brands and publishing expertise, and helping them forge a strong future. We will endeavour to support them with the scale and resources that Newsquest can provide, whilst enabling them to carry on what they have done so well for many years – namely providing first class content and advertising solutions for the people and businesses of Cumbria and the wider region,” stated Henry Faure Walker, CEO of Newsquest.