Tuesday, June 11, 2024

News: Stop press. Daily Mail owners end printing at Rotherham site


It cost £60m and received a Royal opening in 2007, but a print facility in Rotherham has fallen silent.

It comes as circulation of print newspapers in the UK has plummeted from over 8 million newspapers per day in 2012 to under 3 million per day in 2023.

Rothbiz reported in October that the state-of-the-art printing facility in Dinnington was under threat.

DMG Media, the operators of The Daily Mail, Metro and i newspapers and websites, and News UK, (formerly News International), the current publisher of The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun newspapers, proposed a joint venture which would combine their printing operations.

The proposal would retain three current sites in Broxbourne (Hertfordshire), Knowsley (Merseyside) and Eurocentral (Glasgow), and would potentially mean the closure of DMG Media sites in Thurrock and Dinnington.

DMG Media only acquired the site at Dinnington in 2020.

The facility was created by Johnston Press at a cost of £60m on the site of the former colliery. The site, which is also known as Associated Print Holdings, had one of the most modern and fastest presses in the world and has printed everything from the Daily Express, Daily Star and The Sun, to the Yorkshire Post and Sheffield Star. Other major customers included regional publications and many niche publications.

The site survived Johnston Press plc going into administraion in 2018 with debts of over £200m. It was bought by a new company, JPIMedia.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a non-ministerial department of the government that promotes competitive markets and tackles unfair behaviour, has cleared the latest deal.

Documents published last month by the CMA explain that the rationale for the merger was due to the sytematic decline of national newspaper circulation which had resultanted in spare capacity.

The deal is a turnaround for the Knowsley site and comes at the expense of Dinnington.

News UK announced the closure of its Knowsley site in May 2023 and DMG entered into discussions over the future as it outsourced work to the Merseyside site. This ultimately ended up being the long term joint venture to run the combined print operations, with Knowsley staying open and Dinnington closing.

The CMA conlcuded that, if the merger had not gone ahead, the closure of Knowsley would have made News UK a weaker competitor and meant that DMG would have taken work in-house to Dinnington which would have then reduced its own ability to compete for third party contracts due to limited capacity.

The 2023 decision by National World, the company behind The Scotsman, the Yorkshire Post, and the Rotherham Advertiser, to sign a deal with Newsquest that saw production end in Dinnington, will not have helped the site's cause.

Print editions at Dinnington were transferred in April and the new company said that "following the consultation some colleagues at Thurrock and Dinnington will be employed at NewCo sites."

A statement from DMG said: "These plans bear no reflection on the professionalism, commitment, pride and dedication of our colleagues. The news industry has transformed and continues to change rapidly. We needed to make changes to our print capacity to underpin our commitment to our print titles and their readers.

"This was a difficult but necessary step to provide a sustainable future for our print operations and we thank all our colleagues at the print sites for their hard work and long-standing contributions to DMG Media and the wider print industry."

Production Director, Julia Palmer-Poucher, who is expected to transfer from DMG to the NewCo, said: “The news industry has transformed and continues to change rapidly. We needed to make changes to our print capacity to underpin our commitment to our print titles and their readers. This was a difficult but necessary step to provide a sustainable future for our print operations. Whilst I am saddened that our sites will close, this decision ends a period of uncertainty and allows us to proceed.”

The deal is expected to complete this month.

DMG Media website
News UK website



Anonymous,  June 11, 2024 at 5:40 PM  

It's a pity this rag is printed anywhere

Jez June 12, 2024 at 6:32 AM  

Well, we can agree on that one. It is a truly awful newspaper.

Anonymous,  June 12, 2024 at 11:06 AM  

I bet you really buy it Jez

Anonymous,  June 12, 2024 at 2:36 PM  

I don't buy or read the mail, but then I don't criticise it either.

It's funny how those who are most vocal about not reading it are also the ones who seem to know exactly what's in it.

Anonymous,  June 12, 2024 at 10:37 PM  

Sooner read mail ,that toilet paper the likes of Mirror and guardian 🤣🤣

Jez June 13, 2024 at 7:25 AM  

And I bet the bookies really love you.

Anonymous,  June 13, 2024 at 7:33 AM  

I think you will find that most of the people who criticise the Mail do so on the grounds that you should not believe it rather than should not read it. I read it now and again just to be sure that as the voice of the Tory Party it continues to pedal right wing propaganda and appeal to the prejudices of little Englanders. I think you would enjoy it.

Anonymous,  June 13, 2024 at 9:41 AM  

You think I'd enjoy it based purely on my previous comment? How judgemental of you to decide I'm right wing and a little Englander based purely on the fact I don't criticise something I don't have much experience of. You have no idea what my political viewpoint is.

Anonymous,  June 13, 2024 at 11:11 AM  

Your inability to post a coherent sentence, use grammar, or capital letters places you firmly in the Daily Mails demographic.

Anonymous,  June 13, 2024 at 1:13 PM  

In all probability, neither do you.

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