The publisher of the 160-year-old Stratford Herald and its sister title Midweek has put the papers up for sale after the Covid-19 crisis has forced the company into administration.
George Boyden & Son Ltd, the publisher of the titles, cited a combination of factors including a steep loss of advertising and sales revenue from the pandemic as well as the financial burden of its historic pension fund deficit.
The move was announced in the Herald’s edition on Thursday (May 7) and puts seven editorial jobs in Stratford-upon Avon under threat unless a buyer is found.
Editor Richard Howarth said: “We have continued to produce the Herald through a period when we have faced the same difficulties as so many other businesses in the area.
“We know people have been incredibly appreciative of how we have helped to keep our readers connected and will no doubt join us in hoping this step, though a shock to all involved, will see an outcome that ensures the Herald continues to be at the heart of the community for many years to come.”
Richard Boyden who represents the family business said: “The principal reason for this step is the burden of the historic pension deficit, which had increased beyond the resources of a small, independent, family-owned firm.
“We are so grateful to all our readers and advertisers over many generations for their support.”
Nigel Price of Elwell Watchorn & Saxton, the administrators handling the call for buyers, said: “It is extremely sad to see this highly respected newspaper, which has provided a valuable service to the local community for 160 years, facing such a threat to its existence.
“We believe that its publications can represent a financially viable venture for a new owner and invite any parties who are interested to discuss the opportunity with us to contact us by email at email@example.com.”