We were sad to learn of the immediate closure of the Oldham Chronicle.
The publication has been part of the town for more than a century and a half and was one of the North West’s oldest newspapers which had faithfully reported local news since it was established in 1854.
The final edition was printed on 31st August when publisher Hirst, Kidd & Rennie Ltd fell into administration. The move prompted the Oldham Chronicle and the publisher’s other four monthly titles and three quarterly magazines to cease trading with immediate effect.
The end of an era for Oldham is a harsh reminder of the changing landscape of how the public accesses its news. The title is the 18th UK local newspaper to close this summer.
Administrators KPMG said the company was hit by the “changing nature of the local media landscape”.
The internet and social media has changed the face of news and classified advertising, leaving little room for print editions. For some local publications, daily print-runs are down to as low as 7,000. With companies favouring the likes of Google and Facebook for cost effective, targeted and measurable advertising, local publications find it hard to compete. And with no advertising budgets coming in, publishers cannot pay journalist’s wages.
Most of the 49 staff at the Oldham Chronicle have been made redundant.
Other titles affected by the liquidation of publisher Hirst, Kidd & Rennie Ltd are monthlies Oldham Extra, Saddleworth Extra, Tameside Extra and the Dale Times, and quarterly magazines Oldham Business Edge, The Knowledge and Primary Knowledge.
The company also operated Reader Holidays, which had a number of partners in the travel industry. Deposits for any holidays booked via Reader Holidays will be “refunded in due course”.
What next for local Oldham news?
As a fellow long-standing Oldham business with strong roots and a long heritage in the town, everyone at Wrigley Claydon is saddened to witness the demise of our local newspaper. The paper and its journalists have served the town and its people for 163 years and we hope its legacy will live on.
If you have been affected by the closure of the Oldham Chronicle and need legal advice about your redundancy or pension, please contact the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) in the first instance. If you require independent legal assistance, our experienced and professional solicitors would be happy to discuss your situation with you.
If you are a business owner and facing trading difficulties, our Commercial Solicitors can advise you on matters of administration, liquidation and the winding-up process to best protect directors, your employees and stakeholders.
Please contact John Porter or Soibilate Iketubosin in our Company and Commercial team on 0161 624 6811.
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