Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Fulham Chronicle & Hammersmith Kensington Times battle for propaganda cash

The publishers of the Fulham Chronicle and Hammersmith & Kensington Times are locked in a contest to gain our tax payers pounds in order to publish the Council's propaganda under the terms of the new contract I reported on here, which follows the Government forcing our Council to drop "H&F News", which the Secretary of State described as "propaganda on the rates".

I can reveal that the original four bidders for this lucrative contract, which will involve unlimited use of "free space" in the newspaper for the Council to tell us what a wonderful job they are doing along with inserts to be carried by the paper too, were the following publishers who attended an initial meeting with the Council in November last year:
  • Simon Edgley - MD, Trinity Mirror  - (Fulham Chronicle)
  • Simon Taylorson - Publisher, Archant (Hammersmith & Kensington Times)
  • Sean Kelly, MD of Neighbour Net.Ltd (advertiser website
  • Chris Mullany, MD Southwark News 
But in February this year another meeting was held, called "meet the buyers" at which two of the lightweights in that list had dropped out, leaving only Mr Edgley of the Fulham Chronicle and Mr Taylorson of the Hammersmith and Kensington Times to have a one on one meeting with Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh.

The contract will start in April and lucky taxpayers funding the propaganda will get their first copies then. I am told by moles that the Chronicle is still the frontrunner but having to fend off stiff competition being put in by the publishers of the Hammersmith & Kensington Times.

 It seems from the internal documents I have seen that whoever wins the contract will actually be taking on staff who may be transferred from the Council to the winning newspaper. It would also seem, on the face of it, to be something of a life and death struggle for the Chronicle - for if they don't win the contract not only will they not have the advertising revenue but they will also see a new competing newspaper introduced on their patch.

I suspect in any case that journalists in both newsrooms are both praying that their own publishers end up the losers, so they do not suddenly find themselves working alongside new Council colleagues and writing for a paper in hock to the very Council they are supposed to be impartially writing about.

1 comment:

  1. Trinity Mirror Southern has won the contract: see This says, "The initial six-year advertising contract comes after a European-wide tender which attracted one bid." No mention of any fierce competition between the Chronicle and Hamm & Kensington Times. We gather it's a six-year contract to be reviewed after two years, with the discretion to extend the contract annually for a further four-year period.