‘Sunday Business Post’ managing director Paul Cooke resigns and sells shareholding

Newspaper owned by Key Capital announces merger with Cork printers Webprint

The Sunday Business Post has a circulation of 32,162, according to the last audited figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), which are for the second half of 2015.

The Sunday Business Post has a circulation of 32,162, according to the last audited figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), which are for the second half of 2015.

 

Paul Cooke has resigned as managing director of the Sunday Business Post and sold his shareholding in the newspaper to its other shareholders, Key Capital.

The Sunday Business Post also announced that the company is to merge with the Cork-based printer Webprint, which Key Capital took control of last October. The investment house, led by Conor Killeen, said there was a “compelling” business case for combining both companies.

Employees of the newspaper were updated on the changes on Wednesday afternoon.

The board of the new merged entity will include Sunday Business Post editor Ian Kehoe, its commercial director Siobhán Lennon and Webprint managing director Donagh O’Doherty.

Board

Mr Killeen and Colin Morgan from Key Capital are also joining the new board and will lead its executive committee.

Mr Cooke, who was previously managing director of the company that operated the Irish Daily Star, first became involved with the Sunday Business Post three years ago.

He joined Mr Killeen and Key Capital to rescue the newspaper from collapse, investing in the title through its ultimate parent, Brindisi Ltd. The newspaper had been put into examinership in 2013 after its former parent group Thomas Crosbie Holdings went into receivership.

In a statement issued on his behalf, Mr Cooke said his immediate plan was to spend time with his family before “returning to new challenges in the months ahead”. The newspaper was “in excellent shape”, he added.

“I believe we have achieved more with the paper in the past three years than anyone would have thought possible and I look forward to its continued growth and success for years to come. Ireland needs a strong, independent media and the turnaround at the Sunday Business Post should encourage everyone in the industry.”

Circulation

The title has a circulation of 32,162, according to the last audited figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), which are for the second half of 2015.

Its sales were 3.2 per cent lower than in the second half of 2014, which is a better-than-average industry performance for print sales. The Sunday newspaper market declined 6.5 per cent over the same period.

Mr Killeen said development and growth were the priorities for the newly merged company.

“Inevitably, that requires a continued commitment to rolling out new digital offerings and developing the Sunday Business Post brand further,” he said in a statement circulated to staff.

This is likely to include more conferences and events, while he also signalled that the newspaper may provide production and pre-press services to other clients of Webprint, subject to investment or “modest reorientation of our existing resources”.

No redundancies are planned.