City Analyst: TM Local World Deal Will Boost Local Press Sector

A City media analyst has written of his belief that Trinity Mirror’s acquisition of Local World will provide a boost to the local press sector. 

In an article, Ian Whittaker, head of European media research, Liberum, wrote that media agencies were starting to realise the value of newspapers and the high levels of engagement they enjoy with audiences.  

Ian wrote: “It has become almost fashionable to predict that newspapers are on their way out and that the world is digital. Yet that would miss the current stirrings of life. Put aside for a moment the valid claims that newspapers – both local and national – carry out an important democratic function in keeping populations informed and the rulers in check.

“Agencies are now starting to realise the value of newspapers: in WPP’s recent Q3 results, WPP’s CEO Sir Martin Sorrell highlighted that newspapers have by far the greatest engagement with its audiences. This is important: advertisers are starting to question whether many online sites truly deliver the goods given the recent newsflow on online ad fraud and ad blockers, and newspapers’ own digital content and physical reach may become increasingly attractive to advertisers and agencies alike.

“The recent acquisition of Local World by Trinity Mirror is a very good deal for Trinity but also could end up boosting the regional press sector in general. Yes, there are the usual cost synergies to be extracted. Yet one of the big medium to longer-term positives could be in the programmatic sphere, where the now bigger scale of advertising volume sold could be a big plus and could prove attractive to advertisers.

“Sometimes, it truly is darkest before the dawn.”