Scottish newspaper group DNG 'close to a deal' to save Banbridge Chronicle
THE Banbridge Chronicle is close to being saved from closure after DNG Media in Scotland was "close to a deal" to buy the paper on Friday.
DNG, an independent publisher based in Dumfries and Galloway, emerged earlier this week as the front-runner to acquire the long-established Co Down newspaper from the Hodgett family.
It has a stable of four weekly titles, a website and a number of specialist publications.
The Chronicle, first published in 1870 and which currently sells more than 3,000 copies a week, revealed at the start of October that it would be forced close if a buyer could not be found.
It's next edition - due on the streets on Wednesday October 27 - was to be its last.
But staff were told on Friday morning that DNG is close to completing the legals on an acquisition deal.
In a statement, the Chronicle directors said: "Negotiations for the sale of the newspaper are at an advanced stage. In the meantime the Banbridge Chronicle will continue to be published in the coming weeks."
DNG's paid-for weeklies are the Annandale Herald, the Moffat News and the Annadale Observer.
There is also the Dumfries Courier, a free-sheet which is distributed through pick-up points.
General news, sports and features are the mainstay of the DNG titles, and its papers reflect a strong community ethos, largely similar to that of the Banbridge Chronicle.
Their circulation areas cover more than half of Dumfries and Galloway as well as parts of north Cumbria and the Scottish borders.
Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart said the acquisition was "hugely welcome news" for the Banbridge Chronicle, its staff and the paper's readership, as well as for the written media.
"It was a massive blow to learn the Chronicle was closing, so it's great to know that this long-standing newspaper will remain in the town, and I look forward to working with its new owners in the future if the deal is completed."