The Irish Times has completed the acquisition of all of the publishing and media interests of the Landmark Media group, which owns WLR, Beat 102 103, the Waterford News & Star, the Irish Examiner and other titles.
In a statement to staff, outgoing CEO of Landmark Media, Tom Murphy, said:
“I am delighted to announce that The Irish Times have earlier today completed the purchase of all of the media assets in Landmark Media by purchasing Sappho Limited.
“The Irish Times now owns The Irish Examiner, Evening Echo and all of the group’s regional titles, its websites and radio station interests.”
Mr Murphy describes the sale as the “end of an era” as it marks the end of the Crosbie family’s ownership of the Irish Examiner, which dates back to 1872, when journalist Thomas Crosbie took over the proprietorship from John Francis Maguire.
“On the one hand, I’m delighted this sale has gone through because consolidation in the industry is necessary to enable it to compete and we believe that this is the best way to preserve these newspaper brands and the related jobs. On the other hand, it’s the end of an era as the last strand of the Crosbie family exit the business completely.
“I would like to pay tribute to the Crosbie family, they have been fantastic supporters of the ethos, concepts and standards of quality journalism in their newspapers in Ireland. They have been a beacon to the industry, leading and setting the standards for others to follow, over that period.
He added that the Irish Times was the company’s preferred purchaser.
“The Irish Times were our preferred purchaser but not our only suitor. The reason we selected them originally was because the positioning of the core Irish Times newspaper was consistent with and complementary to the positioning of the Irish Examiner and, secondly because our experiences of dealing with them over the years showed them to be good people to partner with.
“We believe this deal will be very good for our brands and our people and that it will also be good for The Irish Times and for the industry as a whole.”
The share purchase agreement between the Irish Times and Landmark was signed on December 5. The deal was later approved by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughton, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.