Johnston Press has agreed to buy Scottish borders publisher
Tweedale Press for a reported pounds 8 million, subject to approval by a
Department of Trade and Industry market competition review.
Tweedale, a family-owned company, publishes the Berwick Advertiser, the
Berwickshire News & East Lothian Herald and the Selkirk Southern
These are likely to be combined into a separate Johnston division with
the titles that were acquired as part of its Portsmouth and Sunderland
They include the paid-for weeklies Hawick News and Selkirk Advertiser
plus four free papers - Berwick & Borders Gazette, the Galashiels News,
the Kelso News and the Jedburgh News.
Johnston’s chief executive Tim Bowdler would not be drawn on the
potential for offering advertisers a group sell, or on the question of
But he did say that it was important to have a strong presence in all
the border towns.
’The Tweedale titles are market leaders and we will invest in them to
make them stronger,’ he said. ’There is overlap which will provide
opportunities to benefit performance. This is a natural extension of our
The Tweedale purchase is a logical move for Johnston to extend its
coverage in the area and swallow up an important local competitor.
The Tweedale owner/managers, Derek and John Smail, first approached
Johnston in the summer.