Thanks to The Guardian for another update from the mad, mad, mad world of Independent News & Media. The infighting continues at pace, with the Board now rejecting O'Brien's demands for an EGM to vote through closure or sale of the Independent and IOS newspapers, as closure would result in "significant costs".
The losses racked up over the years on the two British Independents can only be described as "significant", so you can see O'Brien's point of view. At some point in time, you have to take your medicine, but maybe there simply isn't sufficient money in the business given the debt refinancing problems to close the titles right now, even if they wanted to?
While Gavin O'Reilly has trotted out the standard company line about the titles being profitable within a two year horizon, which has been a constantly moving deadline since the turn of the Century if not before, we don't share his optimism. The market dynamics remained stacked against the Indy, and unless they do something to change those dynamics, then the performance will not improve. Simply putting a paper out into the shops every day is not enough to grow revenues and reach break-even.
We're not seeing any evidence of smart marketing, recognising and rewarding their loyal readers, locking in their cover price revenues or selling their audience in a new and smarter way to advertisers. We're not seeing anything at all.
It is though, merely a symptom of the overall situation at INM. The Indy isn't going to bring down INM, the size of the debt will do that unless the Board can come up with a plan to keep all the banks happy.