Johnston Rejects Scotsman Sale Talk, Launches Hyperlocal Sites

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Regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press has poured cold water on rumours that the group is to sell off The Scotsman. Sources tell both Times Online and Guardian.co.uk that a consortium of Scottish businessmen has held talks to buy the title, which Johnston bought from the Barclay brothers for £160 million in 2005. Johnston doesn’t deny that talks have take place but announced to the stock market this morning: “Whilst Company policy is not to comment on such speculation, Johnston Press can confirm that the board does not have any disposal process underway in this regard.”

Johnston is under pressure to agree a deal with lenders over a £450 million debt repayment deadline due this Friday, when it also unveils its H109 results.

One thing Johnston is doing is expanding its network of hyperlocal sites in its key cities: the Yorkshire Evening Post has added harehillstoday.co.uk to its list of 20 community sites covering the Leeds conurbation. The sites are essentially repurposed local versions of the main Yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk, but also include local sports results, planning applications and video. More community sites are planned this year. Release.

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