Johnston Press

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Johnston Press plc
Public limited company
Traded asLSEJPR
HeadquartersEdinburgh, Scotland, UK
Key people
Camilla Rhodes (Interim Chairman)
David King (CEO)
Revenue£245.1 million (2015)[1]
£1.0 million (2015)[1]
£11.4 million (2015)[1]

Johnston Press plc is a multimedia company based in Edinburgh, Scotland.[2] Its flagship titles include national newspaper the i, The Scotsman, the Yorkshire Post, the Falkirk Herald, and The News Letter in Belfast. The Falkirk Herald was the then Falkirk-based company's first acquisition in 1846. It now also operates around 200 other newspapers and associated websites around the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange.


The first edition of the Falkirk Herald (1845), Johnston's first acquisition in 1846
Johnston owns many local & regional newspapers across the UK, such as the Yorkshire Evening Post
Johnston acquired one of Scotland's national titles, The Scotsman, in 2006

The Johnston family business was involved in printing from 1797, originally in Falkirk.[3] It bought control of its first newspaper, the Falkirk Herald, in 1846. The company would remain headquartered in Falkirk for the next 150 years. The family publishing company was renamed F Johnston & Co Ltd in 1882, a title it would retain until it was floated on the London Stock Exchange as Johnston Press in 1988.[4] The company's first major acquisition came in 1970, when it took control of the Fife-based publishers Strachan & Livingston.[4] In 1978 it bought Wilfred Edmunds Ltd in Chesterfield, publisher of the Derbyshire Times and The Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group in Wakefield.[4]

The Company bought The West Sussex County Times in 1988, The Halifax Evening Courier in 1994 and the newspaper interests of EMAP plc in 1996.[4] Further expansion followed with Portsmouth & Sunderland Newspapers in 1999 and Regional Independent Media Holdings in 2002.[4]

The Company expanded into the Irish market in 2005 by purchasing Local Press Ltd, a company owned by 3i (£65 million),[5] the newspaper assets of Scottish Radio Holdings, known as Score Press with forty-five titles in Scotland and Ireland (£155 million),[6] and the Leinster Leader Group (€138.6 million).[7]

Johnston Press acquired The Scotsman Publications in 2006, taking ownership of two of Scotland's major national broadsheet titles, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, as well as two local papers, the Edinburgh Evening News and the Edinburgh Herald & Post.[8]

In 2014, Iconic Newspapers acquired Johnston Press' titles in the Republic of Ireland.[9] In March of that year, Johnston Press launched a digital advertising agency called 1XL, in partnership with a number of other media companies including Local World and Newsquest.[10]

In February 2016 the company announced it was buying i newspaper for £24m.[11] The deal to buy i was completed on 10 April 2016, giving Johnston Press a daily print circulation of over 600,000 newspapers and an audience online and in print of almost 32m people.[12] In July 2016 Johnston Press sold off its three titles on the Isle of Man — the Isle of Man Examiner, the Isle of Man Courier and the Manx Independent — to Tindle Newspapers in a deal worth £4.25m.[13] In January 2017 Johnston sold off a further 13 titles covering the East Midlands and East Anglia (including the Stamford Mercury) to Iliffe Media for £17m. The same month, the company also won a contract from Associated Newspapers (ANL) to print the Monday-to-Saturday issues of the Daily Mail newspaper at Johnston's Portsmouth Web facility in Hampshire, following the closure of ANL's printing site at Didcot.[14]

In October 2018, with debts of around £200m and a market capitalisation of £3m, the company has announced that it has put itself up for sale. [15]


Newspapers in Great Britain[edit]

The following is a partial list of British newspapers owned by the company:

Newspapers in Ireland[edit]

Johnston Press publishes a total of 22 titles in Northern Ireland through two holding companies, Johnston Publishing (NI) and Derry Journal Newspapers. The geographic readership of some titles extends across the Irish border into the Republic of Ireland, such as the Derry Journal which also covers County Donegal. Former Johnston titles published in the Republic of Ireland now belong to Iconic Newspapers.[9]


The company owns the following websites, in addition to newspaper sites as above, and regionalised versions of these:


  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2015" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Contact us - Johnston Press plc".
  3. ^ "Archives, The Scottish Printing Archival Trust". Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "History of Johnston Press". Johnston Press plc. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
  5. ^ Newspaper Society Database of Mergers[dead link] (login required)
  6. ^ West, Karl (22 June 2005). "Johnston Press picks up SRH local newspaper division". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  7. ^ Press Release on Purchase of Leinster Leader Group Archived 8 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (19 December 2005). "Johnston Press buys Scotsman". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Johnston Press sells its 14 titles in the Republic". Irish Times. Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Johnston Press, Local World and Newsquest unite for 1XL digital sell". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Johnston Press to buy i newspaper for £24m". BBC. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Financial Results 2015". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  13. ^ Mayhew, Freddy (4 July 2016). "Tindle Newspapers buys three Isle of Man titles from Johnston Press in deal worth £4.25m". Press Gazette.
  14. ^ Turvill, William (25 January 2017). "Multi-million pound Daily Mail printing contract win provides some relief to newspaper group Johnston Press". City A.M. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
  15. ^ "Johnston Press puts itself up for sale".
  16. ^ Our Business: Johnston (Falkirk) Ltd, Johnston Press plc Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ "Paisley and Renfrewshire Extra".

External links[edit]