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John OGroat Journal Now Part Of A New Company After Brief Administration

11th December 2019

Scottish Provincial Press, one of Scotland's largest publishers of local newspapers is under new ownership after briefly going into administration.

Administrators were called in by Scottish Provincial Press (SPP) on Tuesday morning.

A new company - Highland News and Media Ltd - has been formed to take over the business.

The move secures the jobs of 135 people and ensures the survival of 18 local newspapers.

This includes the John O'Groat Journal, Caithness Courier, Inverness Courier, Northern Times and others.

Along with most newspapers circulation has fallen steadily in the past few years with 2018 recording sales of 4,635 for the John O'Groat Journal and 3263 for the Caithness Courier.

The new company is a joint venture between SPP's former majority shareholder Peter Fowler and Cambridge-based Iliffe Media.

Edward Iliffe said: "This is the second joint venture arrangement that Iliffe Media Group have entered into with Peter and Rory Fowler, following the acquisition of the Newbury Weekly News earlier this year.

"Whilst Highland News and Media will continue to operate with a high degree of autonomy, we will continue recent moves to share expertise where relevant and seek efficiencies that will help secure a profitable future for both organisations".

SPP will now trade as Highland News and Media Limited, but its new owners say there will be no changes to its portfolio of newspapers, special publications and websites.

A question remains regarding the pension fund that has not moved to new company.

Note - Circulation figures of the newspapers can be found at


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