Author Topic: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent  (Read 3464 times)

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Offline BAILIFFCHASER

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kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« on: 03 August, 2011, 11:04:05 AM »
Bid to buy newspapers
Friday, July 29, 2011


THE Kent Messenger Group has launched a bid to buy the Times series of newspapers. The announcement was made on Monday after staff at both newspaper groups were told.

The KM Group wants to buy seven titles published by Kent Regional News and Media, part of the Daily Mail's Northcliffe Media. It lodged its intention with the Office of Fair Trading on Monday night.

The OFT has 40 days to decide whether to send the bid to the Competition Commission.

The titles affected are the Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay and Faversham Times, Medway News, East Kent Gazette (Sittingbourne) and Sheppey Gazette, Isle of Thanet Gazette, Thanet Times, Folkestone Herald and Dover Express.

The Kent Messenger publishes the Whitstable, Herne Bay and Kentish Gazettes.

Kent Regional News and Media was among three groups of weeklies bought by Northcliffe from Trinity Mirror £64.15 million in July 2007.

The Office of Fair Trading needs comments from advertisers and readers by Monday August 8. Send representations to: Raúl Nieto, Office of Fair Trading, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London, EC4Y 8JX or e-mail raul.nieto@oft.gsi.gov.uk or fax 020 7211 8916

Original here :  http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Bid-buy-newspapers/story-13033303-detail/story.html

Offline Monkey Girl

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Re: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« Reply #1 on: 03 August, 2011, 12:24:04 PM »
 :bashy: I knew this was happening, :bashy:   :o I hope it doesn't as Medway Messenger seem censor everything and the council always seem get the last word, ;)

Im waitng for a local journo to get in touch

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« Reply #2 on: 04 August, 2011, 10:12:37 AM »
This just sent to Raul Nieto.

-----------------------------------------

Dear Sirs

In light of what has recently happened regarding Rupert Murdoch, the opposition to the BSkyB bid and News Group International, I am writing to register my concerns over proposals currently before the OFT for the Kent Messenger Group to buy the Times series of newspapers. I am concerned that the independence and integrity of local newspaper editors and reporters is not compromised by any political motivation.

Please confirm the names of the individuals backing this bid to enable me to research their backgrounds. Please treat this as an application under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Kindly acknowledge receipt of this email.

Your faithfully

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

----------------------------------------
WE ARE WATCHING YOU

Offline BAILIFFCHASER

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Re: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« Reply #3 on: 04 August, 2011, 12:21:16 PM »
What do we do if this happenns ?

Offline Monkey Girl

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Re: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« Reply #4 on: 04 August, 2011, 08:48:37 PM »
@BC........We use what we have.. ;) we do have ways  ;)

Offline BAILIFFCHASER

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Re: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« Reply #5 on: 04 August, 2011, 10:44:35 PM »
oK

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« Reply #6 on: 07 August, 2011, 12:19:16 PM »
This just sent.

----------------------------------

Dear Sirs

I note that tomorrow (8th August) is the last day upon which to register any concerns with your department. I am concerned to note that I have yet to receive the courtesy of an acknowledgement to my email (below).

Kindly acknowledge receipt.

Yours faithfully

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

From: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: raul.nieto@oft.gsi.gov.uk
Subject: Kent Messenger Group
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2011 09:12:22 +0000

Dear Sirs

In light of what has recently happened regarding Rupert Murdoch, the opposition to the BSkyB bid and News Group International, I am writing to register my concerns over proposals currently before the OFT for the Kent Messenger Group to buy the Times series of newspapers. I am concerned that the independence and integrity of local newspaper editors and reporters is not compromised by any political motivation.

Please confirm the names of the individuals backing this bid to enable me to research their backgrounds. Please treat this as an application under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Kindly acknowledge receipt of this email.

Your faithfully

XXXXXXXXXXX
WE ARE WATCHING YOU

Offline Monkey Girl

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Re: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« Reply #7 on: 07 August, 2011, 05:07:57 PM »
Thanks BE  :aplude: :aplude: :aplude:

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: kent messenger group bidding to buy krnm titles in kent
« Reply #8 on: 08 August, 2011, 06:14:57 PM »
Got this from Raul Nieto yesterday (Sunday!). My reply is below.

I have established that Graham Mead

http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/graham-mead/9/137/bb4

is the managing director of Kent Messenger Limited. Does anyone know anything about this bloke or any of his fellow directors, particularly if they have any connections with local councils/councillors?

---------------------------------------------
From: Raul.Nieto@oft.gsi.gov.uk
To: Bald Eagle
CC: Simon.Chisholm@oft.gsi.gov.uk
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2011 14:28:11 +0100
Subject: RE: Kent Messenger Group

Dear Mr xxxx,
 
Thank you for your emails.
 
You made your application pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) on 4 August 2011. We do not envisage any problem to meet our legal obligation to reply to your request within the timeframe set out in section 10 of the Act, that is 20 working days from the receipt of your application. The substance of our response will also fully comply with our legal obligations under (and within the legal remits) of the Act.
 
Perhaps it would be helpful to indicate that the Office of Fair Trading only has jurisdiction to review the impact on competition resulting from this transaction. In a nutshell, that is whether it should be expected that the prices and/or the quality for readers and/or advertisers will substantially increase and/or decline as a result of this merger. The Office of Fair Trading does not have any legal remit to assess or decide on public interest matters. These refer to 'media plurality' considerations, that is to guarantee that there is sufficient representation of different editorial lines in the media.
 
I wonder whether, in your view, your concerns about 'the independence and integrity of local newspaper editors and reporters [being] compromised by any political motivation' refer primarily to public interest issues and that this proposed acquisition would substantially reduce the media plurality (in terms of different editorial lines) available to readers in Kent or any of the seven local areas where the merging parties' titles overlap.
 
Following our established procedures we will communicate any public interest representations to Ofcom and the Department of Culture and Sport, which, as you may know, have the remit to assess and decide respectively any public interest considerations. I am sure you will have seen this in practice in the recent case you mention. The  publicly available information (on our website, companies house and/or any other public sources) provides third interested parties enough background to respond to our information request. The number of well informed and useful responses we have already received corroborates this.
 
The acquirer is Kent Messenger Limited, a well-known publisher of several titles in Kent, with other business interests in local/regional radio and online media businesses. I assume that when you asked for the details of the 'individuals backing this bid' you mean the details of the individuals owning Kent Messenger Limited, information which, to the extent requested by law, is publicly available. I presume that you are not requesting that we tell you who has written to us supporting and/or opposing this transaction. Please correct me if I am wrong.
 
Yours sincerely,
Raúl Nieto
 
Raúl Nieto | Principal Case Officer | Mergers Group| Office of Fair Trading | 2 Salisbury Sq. | London EC4Y 8JX | tel. +44(0)20 7211 5866|

----------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr Nieto

Thank you for your most thorough and informative response. You are correct in your assumption that I requested only the names of the individuals who are responsible for putting the bid forward and not those who may have written to you regarding same.

Clearly I have misunderstood the role of the OFT in that I had assumed that it was within your organisation's remit to deal with the public interest issues I have raised. Thank you for your assurance that you will pass on my concerns to the relevant departments at Ofcom and the Department of Culture and Sport. Please would you be kind enough to put me in contact with whoever you pass my concerns on to.

I can confirm that in light of your very helpful reply I no longer wish to pursue my FoI request with the Office of Fair Trading. Please treat the FoI request as answered to my satisfaction.

Yours sincerely

xxxxxxxxxxxxx
WE ARE WATCHING YOU

 


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