Oligarchs Assets

Ownership of British newspapers in 2024 : A breakdown

British newspapers: Who owns what?

The UK government’s suggestion to prohibit foreign nations from possessing British newspapers appears to disrupt the potential acquisition of the Telegraph Media Group (TMG) by a group led by Abu Dhabi.

While the Telegraph proposal put forth by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, may not come to fruition, competing factions are seeking to strengthen their control over the British media.

A potential joint acquisition of the Telegraph titles has been discussed between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), as reported by The Telegraph.

Who Owns Which British Newspaper ?

According to a 2023 report by the Media Reform Coalition, the British newspaper market is largely controlled by three companies: DMG Media, News UK, and Reach. These companies, which include DMG Media (a part of DMGT), News UK (the British division of News Corp), and Reach, hold a collective market share of 90 percent.

The combined reach of the three groups comprises over 40% of the audience for the top 50 online news brands in the UK.

The British newspaper market is largely controlled by DMG Media’s Metro and The Daily Mail, as well as News UK’s The Sun. These brands hold considerable influence in the industry.

The organization known as DMGT is a distinct entity.

The chairman and exclusive proprietor of DMGT is Jonathan Harmsworth, who is also the great-grandson of The Daily Mail’s founder.

The Daily Mail, along with its sister paper The Mail on Sunday, the “i” newspaper, and the Metro freesheet, dominates 40% of the British newspaper industry.

In the event that DMG Media acquires the Telegraph titles, it would result in a situation where a single publisher holds a significant portion of the British Newspaper circulation, potentially reaching up to half of the total market.

According to a recent study by the Media Reform Coalition, News UK, owned by billionaire Rupert Murdoch from the US and Australia, dominates one-third of the British newspaper market in the UK through its publications: The Sun, The Times, and their Sunday titles.

The family’s global media empire is currently being led by Lachlan, son of Murdoch, who has assumed the role of chairman at parent company News Corp. Despite this, it is widely believed that Murdoch remains heavily involved in managing the business.

The lineup of Reach’s brands consists of renowned publications such as The Mirror, Daily Express, Daily Star, and Daily Record, which have a nationwide reach. They also include significant regional titles like The Manchester Evening News, The Liverpool Echo, and WalesOnline, which cater to local audiences.

Trinity Mirror, in its acquisition, purchased various local, regional, and national titles, which it later rebranded.

Evgeny Lebedev, the offspring of a previous KGB agent and oligarch from Russia, possesses the Evening Standard newspaper in London and holds the majority ownership of The Independent online newspaper.

Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, nominated him to the House of Lords in 2020, leading to his title of Baron Lebedev of Hampton in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and of Siberia in the Russian Federation.

The Telegraph titles were acquired by siblings David and Frederick Barclay in 2004, following the establishment of a successful business empire in the fields of real estate, retail, and hospitality, which also included London’s famous Ritz hotel.

The Telegraph was praised in 2009 for its investigation into the expenses claims of MPs, which utilized a large amount of leaked documents.

The titles, which have historically backed the Conservative party, accumulated debts and were taken over by Lloyds bank last year. This included the Telegraph titles and the Spectator magazine, referred to as the “Tory bible” and previously overseen by Boris Johnson.

The Scott Trust

The ownership of The Guardian newspaper, which is under Guardian Media Group, rests solely with the Scott Trust. This trust generates over 50% of its revenue from its readers.

The Media Reform Coalition report revealed that in 2022, the websites and apps of The Guardian and Observer were accessed by 7.3 million users, which accounts for approximately 10.9% of the UK’s population.

According to the report, large portions of the online media landscape, including the tools and platforms for financing, discovering, and consuming content, are controlled by global technology giants.

According to the report, Meta and Google hold a dominant position in the UK’s online advertising market, accounting for approximately eighty percent of the total spending. This gives the two tech giants an unprecedented level of influence over the discovery and financing of online news.

The most popular news website in the UK for January 2024, with an audience of 38 million, was reported to be the BBC by Ipsos.

The Sun (24.3 million) was succeeded by The Mail Online (22.8 million), The Mirror (22.6 million), and The Guardian (21.2 million).

With an audience of 20 million, The Independent was the top performer, followed by The Telegraph with 15.1 million readers, Metro with 13.9 million, The Daily Express with 13 million, and The Times and Sunday Times with 11.5 million readers.

Source : Digital Journal

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