Tuesday 26 March 2019

INM market position 'strong' despite its challenges, says chief executive

INM chief executive Michael Doorly. Photo: Steve Humphries
INM chief executive Michael Doorly. Photo: Steve Humphries
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

The chief executive of Independent News and Media (INM) has insisted the media group's market position is "strong" despite "unprecedented challenges" in the sector and a bid by the Director of Corporate Enforcement to appoint inspectors to investigate the affairs of Ireland's largest media company.

Yesterday Michael Doorly addressed a meeting of 80 senior executives across INM's editorial, publishing and distributing businesses at Croke Park and outlined details of the new strategy. Mr Doorly said the strategy is composed of three pillars: protecting and reinforcing the core of INM's business; expanding and dominating existing and new niches; and building a framework to enable the future, including investment in targeted Irish and international verticals.

INM, which has mounted an opposing bid to judicially review the ODCE's decision to seek the appointment of inspectors, has also produced a new purpose statement.

Mr Doorly told executives that the strategy, the first in 15 years, was needed because of "unprecedented changes" in the media industry and the current financial circumstances of the company whose titles include the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and independent.ie

"Unfortunately there is no silver bullet to fix our business" said Mr Doorly.

However he insisted that the Board, led by new chairman Murdoch MacLennan, was "committed to investment" and said that INM was, financially, in a strong position.

"We are profitable although those profits are declining," said Mr Doorly. "We do have €90m in the bank. That money is there to be invested." He added: "What INM does on a societal level is significant. We connect communities, we bring neighbourhoods together, connecting people through common voice and making available all the local news, information and stories that our audience demands.

"What INM does is vital to the functioning of a healthy democracy. We are the Fourth Estate. INM has a long history of uncovering truths across the island of Ireland.

"We will continue to lead in breaking the stories of the day, relentless in the pursuit of truth, no matter how hard it gets."

Irish Independent

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