Monday, 22 June 2015


We'd like to express our solidarity with our local NUJ members who are on strike to defend jobs and conditions. In Sutton, the picket line can be visited outside the entrance to Quadrant House.

The owners of our friendly "local" south London papers is an international media conglomerate!

We include below, what we said in June last year when a similar strike was underway.

"You might fondly imagine that both are community based papers, concerned for the people of Sutton & Croydon, holding the local powerful to account, and keen to expose local shenanigans in the Council and other places (we are not, of course, implying there are any).

However, both “Guardians” are owned by Newsquest Media Group. The third largest local paper producer in the UK, with 300 titles.

Newsquest itself was set up in 1995 when New York buy-out firm KKR spent £210 million of largely borrowed money to buy UK Reed Regional Newspapers, from Elsevier.

After selling various pieces of this publishing mini-empire and buying various pieces from other media groups, such as Pearsons (who own the Financial Times), the “refreshed” company was sold, in 1999, to Gannett Inc, for £920 million - suggesting a very a tidy profit.

KKR is Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts. Before they set up their buy-out operation, they all worked for Bear Stearns in New York. That’s the firm that went bust early in 2008, helping precipitate the global financial meltdown.

Gannett Inc is the ultimate owner of the Guardian. Gannett’s fatuous byline (which most firms seem to want to have these days) is, - “Its all within reach.”

Its headquarters are in Virginia, USA. Amongst other things, the corporation owns 43 television stations. Its total assets are worth around 7 billion dollars.

The Sutton Guardian, The Croydon Guardian: as local as any other subsidiary of a global corporate behemoth!"

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