The media industry was stunned earlier this week after Richard Wallace of the Daily Mirror and Tina Weaver of the Sunday Mirror found themselves fired from the Trinity Mirror Group, and the company merged the two titles into a single seven-day-a-week publication. But it now looks as though management were nipping a scheme in the bud. The pair reportedly wanted to buy out the group, with the help of a wealthy backer.
It’s thought the duo wanted to break it up and sell off swathes of the its regional newspapers to whittle it down to the more profitable national newspaper division. Its 130 regional titles include the Liverpool Echo and the Manchester Evening News. But the group - which also owns The People newspaper - has seen steadily declining profits in recent years, the most notable of which was a drop of 40% to around £74m last year.
This week’s drama is only an extra episode in the recent Mirror saga however, as the group’s chief executive, Sly Bailey, was ousted only a month ago, partly because of disapproval from shareholders over her £1.7m salary. The resignation of the chairman Sir Ian Gibson followed shortly afterward - two months early.
Now that the two former editors are shot of the business however, it will probably be easier for them to mount their buyout coup. It will be a tricky business if they pull it off though: the group is saddled with £230m pension deficit. Best of luck, guys…