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Manchester Evening News leaves home

Newspaper moves to Oldham, ending 142-year link with Manchester

Published on September 25th 2010.


Manchester Evening News leaves home

The Manchester Evening News begins its move out of its home city this weekend.The newspaper, which has been present in the city since 1868, is moving to Chadderton, where it will operate from a former car parts factory.

The move is a cost cutting measure by new owners Trinity Mirror, which bought the title and 21 regional sister publications for £7.4m in March. The deal did not include its loss-making television station Channel M but did involve a £37m printing contract, which it cancelled.

Trinity Mirror claims the papers had delivered £6m in revenues in the first five weeks under new ownership, however, and were expecting a profitable 2010. It also said it wanted to shave £20m of the cost of running the business, however, and recently made another 10 journalists redundant.

But Chris Morley, regional organiser at the National Union of Journalists, thinks the move will disconnect the paper from its readers.

“We think moving the MEN out of the city is bad for business,” he said. “It sends all the wrong signals to the people of Manchester. Symbolically, it’s crucial for the MEN to have a presence in the city. It’s an issue of credibility.

“When the move was first announced, the offices were derelict and disgraceful. I’m sure Trinity has spent money on them, but I don’t think being stuck in an appendage of a former car parts factory really sets the creative juices flowing. I’m yet to be convinced it’s the right move.”

Trinity Mirror has taken some office space in Piccadilly Gardens and told Confidential that some journalists would have a ‘mobile presence’ in the city through hot-desking. But Morley said local newspapers should be rooted in the communities they claim to cover.

“There seems to be a trend for out of city centre locations for newspapers,” he said. “But it puts a distance between the journalist and the reader – physically and metaphorically. A journalist’s job is to be among people. That’s how they get stories.

“All the big newspaper companies set unrealistically high profit levels but are making cutbacks. They seem to view editorial as a cost that they would dearly love to rid themselves of.

“The MEN sorely needs investment, and in journalism. So far, they’ve not shown an inclination to do that.”

David Sharrock, the managing director of MEN Media, said it would be “business as usual” and the firm was “excited about completing our move.”

“We will continue to serve our loyal readers and advertisers by focusing on publishing engaging content in the Manchester Evening News, twenty weekly titles and companion websites,” he said.

“We will also continue to change the way we operate to make us more accessible, and as an example, our reporters will become more mobile to get closer to local news across Greater Manchester.

“This move means a bright future for MEN Media, our readers and advertisers alike.”The move will be completed by October 4.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Burt CodeineSeptember 24th 2010.

The much smaller and, erm, less 'international' Norwich manages to keep two newspapers running...and running quite well by the looks of it. Not sure about their web content, perhaps we're more internet savvy up here.
The MEN seems to be a shell of it's [very much] former self and I can't see a move like this making things any better. Shame for such a big city.

Anon tooSeptember 24th 2010.

Farewell MEN. God bless the journalists, still trying to do their jobs in spite of the management above them continually betraying them.

manchester EVENING news???September 24th 2010.

The MEN might do better for itself if it was still a evening paper not turning up at 5.30am with the sun and mail.It takes till wed to find out what happend on a monday

Eddy RheadSeptember 24th 2010.

They have made 10 journalists redundant? I would never have guessed - what with the high level of 'reporting' the MEN has nowadays.

AnonymousSeptember 24th 2010.

Apart from the dire news output from the MEN,the Friday restaurant reviews are a constant source of amusement to me. Since the departure of the professional reviewers, it seems anyone will do a review. One week it's the crime reporter, then the 'gossip' columnist, followed by the 'reporter'in charge of on-line content. Crap. And almost always the restaurant gets the manadtoy 4/5 score

EARL OF DIDSBURYSeptember 26th 2010.

Thats funny , the restaurant reviews are a joke!, look to put it bluntly there are a 24 hour tv networs, the internet , mobile phones , news spreads super fast these days , papers are dead , thribing on gossip and recirculating news , who needs em?

D KesslerSeptember 26th 2010.

EoD - obviously, you do not own a wood-burning stove...

EARL OF DIDSBURYSeptember 26th 2010.

NO

Ali McGowanOctober 28th 2010.

I've lived in Manchester for 14 years and in that time, flicked through many editions of the MEN (this takes about 30 seconds). I've never once had it down as a credible paper. It's utter tosh and of the quality you'd expect in some pokey little town - not our second (or third!) city... so although it's a bit sad it's leaving Manchester, it's not like it was any good...

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