The Island’s weekly newspaper – the Isle of Wight County Press – looks set to be taken over by a mainland company.

The County Press is in talks with national firm – Newsquest Media Group – which has, according to its website, more than 165 news brands and over 40 magazines.

Directors at the County Press say they are unanimous in recommending to shareholders that they accept the offer.

Newsquest also publishes the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton, which was reported to be the subject of re-structuring when the company took it over.

A statement on the County Press website reads:

On behalf of the board, Robin Freeman, chief executive of the Isle of Wight County Press Group, said:

“The board of the IWCP Group strongly believe that this is the best way forward for our group of companies. 

“It provides access to the skills, knowledge and expertise that we need in order for us to be able to adapt and change the existing businesses to meet the opportunities and challenges of the new media landscape that we face.

“Newsquest is a very well-respected and highly professional group and I very much hope the next chapter of the CP’s life will be as part of its group.

“The directors are unanimous in recommending to shareholders that they accept the offer.

“These are exciting times for us all and, if approved, this arrangement will provide a sound future for the group’s excellent products and services.

“I strongly believe that it will be very good news for the local community, economy and for local democracy on the Isle of Wight.

“Newsquest is strongly committed to maintaining the editorial independence and integrity of the Isle of Wight County Press newspaper and special arrangements will be put in place to safeguard this if the offer is accepted by shareholders. Support for the local community is something that is also important to both companies and this will be maintained.”

Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest’s Chief Executive, said:

“We look forward to the opportunity of working with the Isle of Wight County Press, its staff and the community it represents, in building on their success as one of the country’s strongest local news brands and helping them forge a strong and sustainable future.”

It is unclear at this stage if there will be any potential job losses.

County Press Editor, Alan Marriott, told Isle of Wight Radio:

It is impossible to say anything about job losses or effects on the business at this time as the takeover has not yet been finalised and will take around four weeks for it to be completed.”

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