Category: Archive

Print rivals merge forces

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The now defunct Irish Press and Irish Independent staged their own version of the Cold War for years, but since the demise of the Press group in 1995 the main local rivalry has been between the Independent, which is based on the north side of the Liffey, and the Irish Times on the south bank.
In between the two there is the Cork-published Irish Examiner and a posse of Irish editions of British papers which manage to sell themselves in large numbers to Irish readers at lower cover costs than the truly native titles.
Dublin, however, also has a couple of freesheet dailies. It’s that sector of the market that is now bringing together the unlikely duo of Times and Independent in a joint venture that will hit the streets in the New Year.
The resulting paper will be called the Metro Herald and, according to the Irish Times, the launch will be a landmark in Irish newspaper publishing.
“The title – the result of the merger of the Metro and (Independent Group’s) Herald AM titles – will be the first time that The Irish Times Ltd and Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd have co-operated in a publishing venture,” the Times reported.
The third shareholder will be DMG Ireland Holdings, publishers of the Irish Daily Mail.
The Competition Authority, which has sanctioned the plan, has, however, insisted that the Metro Herald operates as a completely standalone business apart from its newspaper shareholders.
That might work, so long as the new offspring doesn’t start cutting too deeply into the readership of those parent companies.

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