Sales jobs safe at Belfast Telegraph

Independent News and Media chief Brendan Hopkins has quashed speculation that the Belfast Telegraph acquisition will lead to the closure of its London sales office.

Independent News and Media chief Brendan Hopkins has quashed

speculation that the Belfast Telegraph acquisition will lead to the

closure of its London sales office.



He insisted he has no plans to change the newspaper group’s sales

operations either in Belfast or London. There are around 140 sales staff

in Belfast and five in London. With one or two exceptions, all of INM’s

other regional newspapers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland are

represented in London by Mediaforce.



Hopkins commented: ’It is fundamentally a local business and will be run

as such. We are pleased to be taking control at an appropriate

time.’



Trinity Mirror last week accepted Independent News and Media’s pounds

300 million cash bid for the group, which comprises Northern Ireland’s

leading daily and Sunday papers, the Belfast Telegraph and the Sunday

Life, as well as the weekly Community Telegraph, Farm Trader and Ads for

Free.



The group also owns the UK’s most popular regional newspaper website,

BelfastTelegraph.co.uk, which gets 500,000 impressions a week.



The bid has now been automatically referred to the Competition

Commission but, despite political opposition from Ulster Unionists,

Hopkins is confident of getting approval.



Meanwhile, the Belfast Telegraph has unveiled a redesign and a new

multi-section format. The basic daily package now comes in two

broadsheet sections, with news and sport in the first and lifestyle,

leisure and classified advertising in the second.



There is a separate business section on Tuesday, a motoring section and

a homefinder section on Thursday, and a jobfinder recruitment section on

Friday.



The redesign provides improved colour and solus advertising

opportunities with six front-page solus sites and two on the TV listings

page.



Advertising director Simon Mann said: ’We consulted the main advertising

agencies in Belfast, Dublin and London. The repositioning of the title

as a mid-market, modern, quality broadsheet will offer readers and

advertisers a more targeted and relevant product for the 21st century.

The redesign offers customers more effective and cost efficient

advertising opportunities.’



Meanwhile, Trinity Mirror has announced plans to invest pounds 150

million - half the proceeds of the sale of the Belfast Telegraph - into

internet ventures.



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