Sunday Tribune

‘Tribune’ staff to be made redundant

Staff at the Sunday Tribune have today been informed that a new buyer for the paper has not been found and that they will be made redundant next week.

The newspaper went into receivership at the beginning of February after its main financial backer, Independent News & Media (IN&M), withdrew its support from the company.

The 43 staff employed at the newspaper were informed today by e-mail that they would be made redundant next Monday as no firm offers had been made for the business.

IN&M, which owned 29.9 per cent of the newspaper after becoming a shareholder in 1992, is believed to be owed about €40 million by Tribune Newspapers.

IN&M informed the board of the Sunday Tribune in early February that it was no longer prepared to support the newspaper, which is currently losing about €2.75 million a year. IN&M agreed to pay staff for four more weeks to give the receiver an opportunity to secure an investor for the title.

The newspaper has struggled financially for several years. It was relaunched in a tabloid format last September, a move that cost about €750,000. This is believed to have boosted its circulation by about 5,000 a week initially.

However its paid-for sales have dipped below 40,000 recently. Its advertising revenues have also been in decline for some time.

Founded in the early 1980s, the Tribune has had a number of high-profile editors, including broadcasters Vincent Browne and Matt Cooper, and Conor Brady, a former editor of The Irish Times.

Latest accounts show it made an operating loss of €3 million in 2009.