Alma Media Oyj Press Release 3 December 2009 at 12.00
SUOMEN PAIKALLISSANOMAT REORGANISES ITS OPERATIONS IN THE OSTROBOTHNIA REGION
The newspaper family of Suomen Paikallissanomat Oy is shrinking in Ostrobothnia. The city paper Kokkolan Sanomat will be discontinued and the town paper Vieskalainen that appears in Ylivieska will be sold to Jokilaaksojen Kustannus Oy. The local paper Pyhäjokiseutu in Oulainen will start appearing twice a week instead of the present three times from the beginning of next year.
Through these arrangements, the publishing company seeks to adapt to the present market situation and increase the profitability of the Ostrobothnia profit centre newspapers.
- We will clarify our city paper strategy in connection with these changes. Through divesting these two city papers we will in the future be publishing city papers only in areas where the company has subscription papers, says Mr Kari Juutilainen, managing director, Suomen Paikallissanomat.
The company has published Kokkolan Sanomat for a little more than three years, and according to Mr Juutilainen, the paper has been running at a heavy loss all the time. The divestment will mean the termination of five people's employment. Two of them can be offered employment in other newspapers of the company. The last issue of the paper appeared on Thursday, December 3.
Vieskalainen has been published by the company for a little more than five years. In Ylivieska as well, the financial targets set for the paper have, according to Mr Juutilainen, not been achieved. Vieskalainen will be sold to Jokilaaksojen Kustannus Oy, part of Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oyj. The buyer publishes the Kalajokilaakso newspaper in Ylivieska.
The once-weekly Vieskalainen employs three people who will continue in the employment of the new owner with existing status and benefits. The parties do not disclose the price of the deal. The ownership of Vieskalainen was transferred to the new owner on December 3.
At Pyhäjokiseutu, a significant modernisation will take place in connection with the paper becoming twice-weekly from the beginning of 2010. Through the change, the publisher wishes to secure a profitable future for the newspaper in its region. Cutting the weekly issues down to two will lead to the termination of two people's employment.
The compulsory personnel negotiations in the Ostrobothnia profit centre ended on Tuesday. The discontinuation of Kokkolan Sanomat and the change in the weekly issues of Pyhäjokiseutu resulted in the termination of the employment of a total of seven people.
Suomen Paikallissanomat is part of Alma Media Corporation. The company publishes 16 local papers and four city papers in different parts of Finland.
For more information, please contact:
Kari Juutilainen, Managing Director, Suomen Paikallissanomat Oy, tel. +358 50435 4159.
Alma Media in brief
Alma Media is a profitable and internationally expanding company that invests in the future of newspapers and online media. Its best known products are the Aamulehti, Iltalehti, Kauppalehti and Etuovi.com.
Net sales in 2008 totalled EUR 341 million and the operating margin was over 14%. The company's share is listed in the Mid Cap segment of the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. Please visit www.almamedia.com for further information.