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Browne to lose thousands over newspaper sale

Broadcasters Vincent Browne and Tom McGurk are set to lose thousands of euro owed to them by the Sunday Business Post as new owners take over the newspaper.

Both media heavy-hitters are among scores of journalists and freelancers who will lose out as creditors to the weekly publication which went into examinership in March.

A company in which economist David McWilliams is a director, Iconic Media, is also set to lose a five-figure sum in the deal to revive the paper.

The paper is now being taken over by new owners, who have agreed to pay €750,000 for it.

The money will be used to pay creditors, including freelance journalists and contributors, just 15pc of what they are owed.

Journalist Vincent Browne is owed €25,000 by the paper, but will only be paid €3,750 – while sports writer Tom McGurk will only get €1,746 of the €11,640 he is owed.

 

OWED

Iconic Media Ltd, which is owed €13,284, will get less than €2,000 of what it is due.

Other creditors will have to write off what they are owed as they will be getting no payment.

These include the former printers of the paper, Thomas Crosbie Print, and the Irish Examiner newspaper, which formed part of Thomas Crosbie Holdings along with Post Publications.

Both were owed nearly €1.9m.

Michael McAteer, of Grant Thornton Corporate Finance, which was appointed as examiners to the paper, will explain to creditors how it plans to save the publication at a meeting today in a Pearse Street hotel.

One of the many freelance journalists who is set to be paid a fraction of what they are owed by the paper has told the Herald it is "a bitter pill to swallow".

"In a way it is a fait accompli in that we will have to accept a fraction of what we are owed or the company will go under and we will get nothing," said the journalist.

It was announced last week that the Sunday Business Post is to be bought by former Irish Daily Star managing editor Paul Cooke, along with corporate finance firm Key Capital for €750,000.

They have promised to invest a further €250,000 in it.

Staff at the paper voted to accept new terms as part of the deal, including a reduction in redundancy terms of two weeks for each year of service to one-and-a-half weeks for the nine members of staff who have already accepted voluntary redundancy.

Employees also agreed to a reduction in notice periods from three months to one month.

The new owners are also proposing an employee share ownership plan of 6pc of the company.

comurphy@herald.ie


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