‘Irish Examiner’ brand ‘will go from strength to strength’, says chief executive

Landmark’s Tom Murphy has ‘no doubt’ about newspaper’s future

Landmark Media Investments' first set of annual accounts didn't make pretty reading when they were filed last December, but group chief executive Tom Murphy assured TDs sitting on the banking inquiry committee last week that he had "no doubt" that the Irish Examiner brand "will go from strength to strength".

Murphy was faced with the task of explaining repeatedly to the committee that the collapse of the newspaper's former owner, Thomas Crosbie Holdings (TCH), had little to do with the decline in property advertising, but were "holding company level issues" (in other words, the end result of TCH's boom-era overexpansion).

Landmark, the company formed from the ashes of TCH's receivership in early 2013, continues to trade with the support of its bankers, AIB, having made a loss of €700,000 in the first 11 months of its existence. It owes about €18 million to its lenders, accounts for the period show.

Circulation fall

Circulation for the


Irish Examiner

, its main asset, has fallen since then, with the newspaper selling an average of 34,424 copies in the second half of 2014, down 7 per cent year on year.

Murphy stressed to the committee that, while the newspaper was not and has never been reliant on any one sector, advertising revenue as a whole was "of vital importance to fund the current 300 jobs in the Irish Examiner", just as it supports the wider newspaper industry.

“I believe newspapers generally are going through a difficult time now,” said Murphy.

Some might say the Irish Examiner has been having a more difficult time than others.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics