a media industry resource

Johnston Group


Johnston Press is the fourth largest UK newspaper publisher. Sales in 2001 were £300.6m and £264.6m in 2005. Pretax profits in 2005 were £82.2m. The group has 276 UK titles, of which the most prominent are the Yorkshire Post and The Scotsman.

The group

Johnston Press traces its history to establishment of F Johnston & Co in Falkirk in 1767.

It has grown through acquisition of local/regional titles, often shed by the metropolitan-based chains (eg titles from Trinity Mirror in 2001/2 and EMAP's newspaper operations in 1996).

F Johnston & Co Ltd became a fully listed public company on the LSE in 1988 and changed its name to Johnston Press plc. It is controlled by the Johnston family.

In 2005 Emap announced a deal to acquire Scottish Radio Holdings and sell the SRH newspaper division (Score Press), made up of 35 regional weekly titles (16 in Scotland, 24 in Northern Ireland and five in Eire), to Johnston for £155 million. Johnston subsequently acquired The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday from the Barclay brothers for £160m

The group's corporate site is here.