Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Manchester Evening News to leave city base

Copies of the Manchester Evening News
Trinity Mirror said it is looking at options for a new base

The Manchester Evening News (MEN) will move from its current city centre base, following its sale to Trinity Mirror.

The Guardian Media Group (GMG) sold the historic title in a £44.8m deal, which includes 32 of its local newspapers.

Last year the local paper offices in Greater Manchester and Lancashire closed and staff moved to the MEN building at Scott Place.

Trinity Mirror says it is looking at options for a new base, including its printing site at Hollinwood, Oldham.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said it only has a six-month licence at Scott Place and has "no option but to relocate MEN Media".

"The proposal to move to our Oldham site is only one of a number of options we are currently considering and we are in the process of looking at several properties in Greater Manchester," he added.

Ties cut

The sale, announced on Tuesday, does not include Channel M, the group's television station focusing on Greater Manchester. The future of the station is unclear.

The titles included in the sale include the Accrington Observer, Rossendale Free Press, Salford Advertiser, Middleton Guardian, the Rochdale Observer, Macclesfield Express , the Tameside Report and the Heywood Advertiser.

In July, GMC Regional Media reported a difficult year and saw its operating profit fall to £500,000 from £14.3m in 2008.

According to its annual report, the steep decline was driven by a 30% fall in classified advertising revenues.

In a statement, GMG chief executive Carolyn McCall said the group's mandate was to "secure the future of the Guardian in perpetuity" and the selling decision helps achieve that goal.

The sale of the flagship Manchester newspaper means GMG has now cut most of its ties with its historic home city.

Ownership implications

GMG Regional Media publishes 32 newspapers and websites, including 22 in the North West of England under the MEN media banner.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said the move had implications for the future ownership of local media across the UK, a topic it plans to raise with government.

Trinity Mirror already publishes the Liverpool Post and Echo titles, as well as other weekly papers across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Trinity Mirror is the UK's biggest regional publisher and owns national tabloid, The Daily Mirror.

The Manchester Evening News was founded in 1868.

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