Hold The Front Page reported that David King told staff the future of the business “lies in being part of industry consolidation”. He was “disappointed” that this didn’t happen in 2019 but said the opportunity still remains.
“Industry consolidation provides an ability to invest and realise benefits across a larger portfolio, to provide an easy to access solution for advertisers, to engage with a stronger voice with tech companies, and to have the scale to invest in building subscription services,” he added.
“Taken together, these will help support the ongoing provision of quality local news to communities in towns and cities across the UK.
“We are not actively exploring a sale of the business at this moment. In any event, our focus should continue to be on growing audiences and meeting the needs of our customers.”
JPI initiated talks to sell its regional titles last July and, while there were numerous names in the frame for the assets over the following months, it was Mirror Group chief executive David Montgomery that had emerged as the most recent frontrunner via his takeover vehicle National World.
Newspaper group DMGT bought the i newspaper from JPI Media for nearly £50m in November, but the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently investigating whether this adheres to competition law.