Trinity Mirror, a newspaper group with a strong anti-Brexit stance, is in discussion over potentially buying all of Northern and Shell’s publishing assets, including the Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! magazine.
Trinity Mirror owns the Daily Mirror newspaper, which came out strongly in favour of a Remain vote in the 2016 referendum.
If Express Newspapers owner Richard Desmond sells up, this would mean his exit from the media world, after selling Channel 5 in 2014.
The difference has prompted many to note the difference on editorial stance between the Express and the Mirror on many issues...
On the general election
The refugee crisis
Generally what sort of stories to prioritise...
The publications’ differing editorial standings have prompted many to speculate over what the merger would mean...
However, an insider told HuffPost UK that they felt it was unlikely that the Express’ editorial stance would change.
They said that the publication would likely be unwilling to risk losing readers, adding “softening the approach would be quite dangerous”.
They added that despite Friday’s news, employees had been advised that there was no certainty that the deal would go ahead.
Some have pointed out that this would be another move towards the consolidation of the UK media.
The BBC reported that the Competition Commission could become involved, although the combined readership of the Express and Mirror titles would be up approximately 29% of market share. This is not significantly different to the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, which are at 23% and 22% respectively.
In a statement, Trinity Mirror said: “The board of Trinity Mirror notes that it is now in discussions to acquire 100% of the publishing assets of Northern & Shell.”
Any deal will have to be approved by Trinity Mirror’s shareholders.