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The stuttering attempt to sell off some of its newspapers has forced Trinity-Mirror to take its eye of the digital prize, the company has admitted. The publishing group had expected to dispose of its midlands and south-of-England papers, as well as the Racing Post, for up to £600 million, but only managed to bring in £263 million. FT.com: CFO Vijay Vaghela “admitted that Trinity had let its digital acquisition programme slip as it concentrated on the business review and disposal programme. But Mr Vaghela said the pipeline of digital deals was ‘alive and well’.”
In June, the publisher began the redesign of its aging 45-strong “ic” regional online newspaper portals, now beginning to look much more fit for purpose. It did spend £11.8 million to buy vertical recruitment sites TotallyLegal.com and TotallyFinancial.com a month earlier and snapped up Email4Property last year, but hasn’t been as quick in recent years to buy up in the classifieds sector s rival DMGT/Northcliffe (JobsGroup.net, Allegran, Data Media & Retail, VillaRenters.com et al). Regional print advertising, which fell one percent in this year’s first half, was flat over the first nine months of the year, Vaghela said yesterday.