We’re the last local paper in Oldham
Reporter: Richard Hooton
Date published: 10 August 2009
THE OLDHAM Evening Chronicle will once again be the only newspaper based in the borough after the Oldham Advertiser closes its office today.
The Advertiser’s parent company Guardian Media Group (GMG) announced earlier this year that it intended to shut all its district offices, centralise editorial functions in Manchester and axe 150 jobs. The Oldham office is the last to close.
The Oldham Advertiser’s first edition was published on April 22, 1982, and was initially a one-man operation run from Ashton. It moved to Union Street, Oldham, in August, 1983, before occupying an office in Yorkshire Street.
A free weekly paper, it is run by the MEN Media Group, publisher of the Manchester Evening News and 22 sister weekly newspapers, whose parent company is GMG, publisher of national newspaper The Guardian.
Managers at GMG announced in March plans to axe 39 editorial posts at the MEN and 39 at its sister papers across the region — though these have since been reduced to 70 job losses — with a further 72 non-editorial jobs also slashed.
Bosses say the cuts are essential if they are to continue to publish newspapers and websites in the North-West and for the business to have a future. They blamed long-term structural changes in the market and the devastating impact of the recession.
The weekly titles will continue but their offices closed and the newspapers written and designed at the MEN’s Scott Place head office in Manchester by a pool of journalists.
Offices already closed include Accrington, Ashton, Macclesfield, Rochdale, Rossendale, Salford and Wilmslow.
The Oldham Chronicle has been published for 155 years and will again be the only newspaper to be written and printed in Oldham.
Editor Jim Williams said: “The Oldham Chronicle will continue to do what it has done for the last 155 years, presenting Oldham with all the local news — good and bad — sport and advertising opportunities.
“The newspaper was born in Oldham and Oldham has remained its home. Others may come and go but the Chronicle stays at the heart of Oldham and continues to serve local people without fear or favour, through the good times and the not-so-good times.
“Not every district of Greater Manchester is lucky enough to have its own evening newspaper and Oldham would not be the same without its Oldham Chronicle.”
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