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Oldham Evening Chronicle ceases publication after 163 years

Hirst, Kidd and Rennie Limited, the company that publishes the Oldham Evening Chronicle, has gone into administration.

The weekday daily newspaper publsihed for the last time today and the majority of its 49 staff will be made redundant. 

The paper was established in 1854 and has four companion monthly free titles: the Oldham Extra, Saddleworth Extra, Tameside Extra and the Dale Times, and three quarterly A4 magazines: Oldham Business Edge, The Knowledge and Primary Knowledge.

Paul Flint and Jonathan Marston of KPMG have been announced as joint administrators. 

Mr Flint said: "The company was faced with an increasing deficit in its defined benefits pension scheme in addition to the challenging trading conditions arising from the changing nature of the local media landscape.

“Unfortunately despite a rigorous sales process, a buyer for this long standing paper has not been found and it’s not commercially viable to continue operating.

“We will work to ensure all employees receive the maximum levels of practical and financial support through the redundancy process. We are also seeking buyers for the assets of the business, including the newspaper title to try and ensure its heritage will be preserved and continued.”

The company also operated a promotions facility – Reader Holidays - in conjunction with a number of partners in the travel sector.

Mr Flint added: “All customer deposits paid for Reader Holidays will be refunded in due course.”

Oldham MP Jim McMahon tweeted that the news was 'devastating' for the town of Oldham and journalism.

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