Publisher goes into administration

The Oxford Courier newspaper's parent company has been put into administration.

Staff at the Abingdon-based business have been told their jobs are safe, but publishing manager Howard Taylor refused to comment about why the company had gone into administration or the arrangements under which it was now operating.

An administrator was appointed in Oxford County Court for Courier Newspapers (Oxford) Ltd.

Mr Taylor said: "The staff are being kept on under Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) arrangements.

"The newspaper continues to be published."

The administrator, Clive Everitt, of Oxford accountants Shaw Gibbs, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Under TUPE regulations, staff employment rights are protected when a business or part of one is transferred to a new employer.

The company was sold in September for the nominal sum of £50,000 by Milestone Group, the owner of Oxford's Six TV channel, which said the business was loss-making.

Milestone also sold all its radio stations, including Oxford's Passion FM, which was bought by Absolute Radio International in June for £300,000.

The Oxford Courier is staffed by two reporters and a photographer, and has a sister newspaper in Basingstoke.

Anna Wagstaffe, secretary of the Oxford & District branch of the National Union of Journalists, said: "A diversity of newspapers is important for the local community and we welcome anything that is going to secure the future of the paper and the staff."

The registered office of the company is in London Road, Newbury.

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