Arguably the biggest press agency grouping in Scotland has been purchased by one of the biggest press agencies in the UK.
Hard Edge Media – which operates the Northscot, CentrePress and Capital Press agencies in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, respectively – has been taken over by Bristol-based Southwest News Service.
The purchase was in January but, until now, had been kept under wraps.
HEMedia was founded by Peter Steele in 1982. Says the HEMedia website, former “Fleet Street man”, Steele, ”covered some of the biggest stories of the time during his stint on The Sun, Evening Standard and Daily Mail but always kept a home in Scotland's northeast.”
The site continues: “It was this love for the country that was the main reason for him taking the decision to set up the Northscot agency in Aberdeen where the Fleet Street know-how, hard work and some great staff started the process that quickly led to Northscot becoming pre-eminent.”
HEMedia is now a subsidiary of SWNS.
Andy Young, managing director of SWNS, told allmediascotland.com: “We hope to continue Peter’s great service to the local and national media ‘north of the border’. We are currently interviewing for news and photographic staff to reinforce the existing teams. There will be no changes to key personnel with Peter Steele remaining on the board of HEMedia to oversee the operation. We hope to rely on his vast experience and reputation for as long as he is available to us.
SWNS has offices in Bristol, Plymouth, Leamington Spa and owns Masons News Service in Cambridge. It also runs the PR companies 72point (OnePoll), InsideMedia and Palamedes.
Continued Young: “We hope to build on the good name that Peter and his team have within the Scottish media and, in turn, want to see that reputation grow.
“We are proud of the reputation SWNS has within all media/news organisations south of the border and hope to prove/ reinforce that in Scotland.”