- The UK's largest regional newspaper publisher has bought the country's biggest regional newspaper sales house in a £1.6 million deal.
The marriage of Trinity with Amra consolidates the publisher's advertising sales into a single point, adding 60 Trinity titles to Amra's portfolio. Amra already represented half of Trinity's newspapers. The additional titles were previously handled by Mediaforce and Clacksons, while the Belfast Telegraph had an in-house ad sales team.
Amra's management will remain the same, with the exception of chairman and founder Malachi Doyle who is retiring, but will remain as a consultant. Trinity's head of advertising development, John Eccleston, will take on the chairman's role, while Mike McCormack remains as chief executive.
Eccleston said: "We clearly see the benefits of having all the titles under one roof and their being able to be accessed by one phone call."
He added that all of Amra's existing members, which include Eastern Counties Newspapers, the Manchester Evening News and the Midland News Association, had decided to stick with the sales house.
McCormack insisted that Amra would retain its independence as a representative of other regional newspaper groups, despite Trinity's ownership. A steering committee has been set up with senior representatives from Amra's client base to work on future sales initiatives.
McCormack said: "Amra was a significant sales house but I felt there was something missing. If you can put the largest regional newspaper group with the largest regional sales operation you have the perfect fit. It's marriage made in heaven."
Trinity's titles include the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, the Western Mail and Echo and the Belfast Telegraph.