NUJ welcomes assurances as Irish Times seeks to acquire Landmark Group
6 December 2017
In a reaction to the announcement of the decision of The Irish Times to purchase the assets of Landmark Media Group, including The Irish Examiner, The Echo and seven regional newspapers, Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary said:
"We are seeking a meeting with management to explore the implications for staff and will be seeking assurances regarding security of employment in the newspapers and radio stations involved in the proposed acquisition.
"We welcome the assurance by Liam Kavanagh, managing director, that the editorial integrity and independence of the titles will be maintained and I have an unambiguous assurance that trade union recognition will continue. Workers employed by Landmark Media Group have been operating under a cloud of uncertainty and today’s development will help ease the fears of our members.
"Obviously we will be examining every aspect of the proposed acquisition, including the implications for media diversity and plurality but these assurances provide a constructive starting point.
"Irish Times staff will be seeking specific assurances about the maintenance of the distinct editorial character of The Irish Times. This is a major departure for the company and the NUJ will be entering into discussions with management on the potential implications for employees of the parent organisation.
"Pending the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the minister for communications, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Landmark staff will be employed by that company and we will continue to represent their interests. Members who may have concerns are being encouraged to contact the company.”
The titles involved include the Irish Examiner, Evening Echo, the Waterford News & Star, the Western People, the Nationalist, the Kildare Nationalist, the Laois Nationalist, the Roscommon Herald, and the Naas and Newbridge Nationalist.
Landmark has a 75 per cent stake in both WLR in Waterford and regional station Beat, and a 17.6 per cent holding in Cork local station Red FM.
Landmark’s website interests comprise Breakingnews.ie, Irishexaminer.com, Recruitireland.com, and 75 per cent of Benchwarmers.ie.