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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

It's Wednesday, must be more happening at INM

It sounds like the INM Board will not be bowing to Denis O'Brien's demands for a number of resolutions to be passed at an EGM.

Reports suggest that a deal is close to refinance the existing bond through a debt for equity swap, and there is another 4 week stay of execution on the bond's repayment about to be announced.

The paragraph below caught my eye. If true, then someone has been taking a few too many happy pills. Anyone who thinks the UK Independent titles will move into profitability by 2011, in the current advertising (and circulation) market, while number 4 in their market, without changing the fundamental dynamics of the business or the newspaper, is in my humble opinion, an idiot. The titles have been "2 years away from profitability" for over a decade, why on earth would they be moving any closer at the moment? They either take the hit now, or let the losses continue over time. It's pretty obvious why they can't take the hit now, and it's nothing to do with impending profitability in 2011.

"The company is also expected to reiterate its view that closing the UK titles would be more expensive than running them through to profitability – expected sometime within the next two years. It will point out that the board, which includes three people appointed by O'Brien under an abortive truce with O'Reilly clinched in March, has agreed upon the current strategy, which includes retaining the titles."

A final thought, best of luck to Simon Davies, former Ad director of the London Evening Standard, who is leaving to be the new commercial director of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. A brave move, no matter how you look at it. Frying pan and fire are the two phrases that spring to mind, but you just never know in this industry do you. I don't know Mr Davies, but he must be a man who thrives on a challenge.

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