Belfast Media Group director Mairtin O Muilleoir seeks investor or buyer for news group
Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Muilleoir has announced he is seeking an investor or buyer for his Belfast Media Group news organisation.
The group - which publishes the Andersonstown News, North Belfast News, South Belfast News and Irish Echo - employs 35 people at its west Belfast offices.
Mr O Muilleoir said with the decline in print sales and advertising revenue it was time for a new chapter and "progressive partner or purchaser" who could build for the future.
He said the group provided a first class news service "while building up the community they serve".
Consultations had started with the Belfast Media Group team and partners on Tuesday to agree the best way to secure jobs and attract fresh investment to ensure a "sustainable business".
He said that was the best way to ensure the titles could continue to provide "top-quality" news.
Mr O Muilleoir said he was confident of a positive outcome and it remained business as usual with the group.
Last year the organisation put its print hall on the market, after outsourcing operations to Johnston Press's Carn site in Portadown in 2017.
Mr O Muilleoir served in Belfast City Council for a decade up until 1997 before quitting politics to concentrate on his business.
The fluent Irish speaker wrote a book, The Dome of Delight, documenting his experiences as a Belfast councillor during the tense 1980s when there were fist fights and bitter exchanges between unionist and nationalist representatives.
He returned to politics in 2011 and became Belfast Lord Mayor in 2013. In 2014, he was co-opted onto the Assembly as MLA for South Belfast and was finance minister before the collapse of the institutions.
The veteran republican also owns shares in Irish Studio LLC which owns US news and entertainment website IrishCentral.
Belfast Telegraph Digital