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  5. Scottish Provincial Press expands

SNS member Scottish Provincial Press has expanded with the acquisition of three titles in Aberdeenshire owned by J&M Publishing, which was not previously part of the SNS. SPP managing director Thelma Henderson is the current SNS chair.

Here is the full announcement from SPP:

One of the biggest independent newspaper groups in Scotland today announced the acquisition of three more titles.

Scottish Provincial Press Ltd, publishers of 13 paid-for weeklies from its base in Inverness, has secured  J&M Publishing – adding three more newspapers to its portfolio.

The group, publishers of titles like the Inverness Courier, Northern Scot and John O’Groat Journal, is spreading eastwards with the acquisition of the Banffshire Advertiser, Huntly Express, and Banffshire Herald.

The papers operate out of three centres in Buckie, Huntly, and Keith. SPP already owns the Banffshire Journal in Banff.

The deal was announced today by SPP Managing Director Thelma Henderson who said: “This is fantastic news, not just for SPP but for the three titles we have acquired.

“We are an independent company that is completely committed to local newspapers and the vital role they play in their communities.

“The J&M titles are a perfect fit for us geographically, extending our footprint across an area that sits neatly between our Northern Scot and Banffshire Journal titles.

“It is a massive vote of confidence in the local newspaper scene in Scotland from a group with a proud tradition of serving the news and information needs of some the remotest communities in Scotland.”

SPP currently employs 240 people at 11 sites across the North of Scotland. J&M employs 23 people in three centres.

The Banffshire Advertiser was founded in 1881 by WF Johnston and has continued in the Johnston family until the present day by husband and wife Jack and Jackie Johnston.  In 1991 they acquired the Huntly Express and Banffshire Herald forming the company J & M Publishing Ltd.