Archant Limited is a newspaper and magazine publishing company headquartered in Norwich, England. The group publishes four daily newspapers, around 50 weekly newspapers, and 80 consumer and contract magazines.
1845 to 1900
The company began publishing in Norwich in 1845 with Norfolk News, backed by Jacob Henry Tillet, Jeremiah Colman, John Copeman and Thomas Jarrold. The Colman and Copeman families still retain close involvement in the business.
1900 to 2000
As the business grew it moved premises in 1902, 1959 and again in the late 1960s to its present headquarters location at Prospect House in the centre of Norwich.
At the end of the 1960s, Eastern Counties Newspapers merged with the East Anglian Daily Times Company, publisher of the East Anglian Daily Times, to form Eastern Counties Newspapers Group (ECNG).
In 1985, ECNG purchased the East Anglia-based Advertiser group of weekly free newspapers. These businesses operated as separate entities until the mid-1990s when they were brought together under the ECNG banner.
The company moved into Internet publishing in 1996 when it launched Eastern Counties Network, a Web-based service using copy from its four daily newspapers as well as original material. Later this was disaggregated into separate websites for each of the newspapers.
In April 1998, ECNG bought Home Counties Newspapers Holdings plc with an agreed bid of approximately £58 million. The bid earned the company the nickname of "The News Corp. of East Anglia". HCNH published a range of 26 weekly paid and free titles across Greater London and the Home Counties. The title portfolio included the Hampstead & Highgate Express, the South Essex Recorder series, the Hertfordshire|Herts Advertiser series, the Comet series, the Herald group and the Welwyn & Hatfield Times.
Consumer magazine publisher Market Link Publishing, now Archant Specialist, based in Essex was acquired by ECNG for £5 million in autumn 1999. Its titles now include Photography Monthly, Professional Photographer, Pilot and Sport Diver.
2000 to present
The launch of a county magazine in Norfolk in 2000 saw the beginning of what is now Archant Life, the country's biggest publisher of county magazines. The division was subsequently given scale through acquisitions in the North West, the Cotswolds and the South and South East of England.
In March 2002, ECNG changed its name to Archant, prompted by the company's broadening geographic scope and growing range of its activities.
In December 2003, Archant purchased 27 weekly newspapers from Independent News & Media in two separate deals worth up to £62 million. The titles included the Hackney Gazette, Islington Gazette, the East London Advertiser, the Barking & Dagenham Post, the Bexley Times and the Bromley Times.
In early 2005, Archant acquired two magazine publishers Romsey Publishing Group, which became part of Archant Specialist, and Highbury Local Publications, which became part of Archant Life and Archant London.
In summer 2005, Archant Anglia was merged with Archant Norfolk and the newly created Archant Herts & Cambs, a division of Archant Regional.
In early 2006, Metropolis Publishing's six London lifestyle magazine titles were added to the Archant Life stable. They were quickly joined by six county magazine titles in the Midlands from Advent Media.
In April 2007, Archant Scotland's eight newspaper titles were sold to Johnston Press for around £11 million.
In February 2008, Archant acquired Compass Magazines and its four monthly regional magazines in Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey.
In September 2009, Archant Print completed an £8 million project to bring its press centre in Norwich up to ten printing towers with associated equipment.
In November 2009, Archant launched Great British Life, a website portal.
In November 2009, Archant launched Subscription Save, a dedicated magazine subscriptions portal for their publications.
In May 2010, Archant launched Cambridge First, a weekly newspaper in Cambridge.
In February 2011 Archant London launched an all-new news & information website for London – London24.
In May 2011, Archant Life acquired the Wye Valley Life and Life in The Marches titles from Wye Valley Media Ltd.
Archant completed a change to its legal structure to simplify the trading companies into one single legal entity – now called Archant Community Media Limited – in November 2011. This does not change the name of the group which remains as Archant Ltd.
In January 2012, Archant launched the unique iwitness24 community news platform that aims to transform the way it gathers news. It is designed to allow readers to contribute pictures and videos in a quick and easy way.
January 2013 saw a move into local TV with the launch of Mustard TV online in Norwich.
In August 2013 Archant announced completion of the acquisition of www.planningfinder.com.
In July 2016 Archant announced a new weekly 'pop-up newspaper', The New European, designed in response to the UK's vote to leave the European Union. With a cover price of £2, it was initially intended to run for four editions only; however, as of September 2017 the paper is still being published weekly.
In August 2017 Mustard TV closed, having been sold to the That's TV Group.
Weekly paid newspapers
- Barking & Dagenham Post – Barking and Dagenham, London
- Beccles and Bungay Journal – Beccles and Bungay
- Cambridgeshire Times – Cambridgeshire
- Dereham & Fakenham Times – Dereham and Fakenham
- Docklands and East London Advertiser— East London
- Ely Standard – Ely
- Exmouth Journal – Exmouth
- Great Yarmouth Mercury – Great Yarmouth
- Green Un – an Ipswich-based Association football weekly
- Hackney Gazette – Hackney, London
- Hampstead & Highgate Express (Ham&High) – Hampstead and Highgate, London
- Highbury & Islington Express – Highbury and Islington, London
- Ilford Recorder – Ilford
- Islington Gazette – Islington, London
- Kent on Saturday – Kent, Southeast London
- Kilburn Times – Kilburn, London
- Lowestoft Journal – Lowestoft
- The New European – national
- Newham Recorder – Newham, London
- North Norfolk News – North Norfolk
- The Pink'un – a Norwich-based Association football weekly (digital only)
- Romford Recorder – Romford
- Sidmouth Herald – Sidmouth
- The Crow – Royston
- Welwyn Hatfield Times – Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Potters Bar
- The Weston & Somerset Mercury – Weston-super-Mare and Somerset
- Willesden & Brent Times – Willesden and Brent, London
- Wisbech Standard – Wisbech
- Wood & Vale – St John's Wood, Marylebone and Maida Vale, London
Weekly free newspapers
- Diss Mercury— Diss
- Dunmow Broadcast & Recorder – Great Dunmow
- Herts Herald – East Hertfordshire
- Exmouth Herald – Exmouth
- The Advertiser – Coastal edition (East Suffolk)
- The Advertiser – Great Yarmouth edition
- The Advertiser – Ipswich edition
- The Advertiser – North Norfolk edition
- The Advertiser – South Norfolk edition
- The Advertiser – Waveney edition
- Comet Series – North Hertfordshire
- Harlow, Old Harlow & Epping Herald – Harlow, Old Harlow & Epping
- Ham & High – Hampstead and Highgate in London
- Havering Post – Havering, London
- Herts Advertiser Series – St Albans & Harpenden
- The Hunts Post – Huntingdonshire
- Midweek Herald – East Devon
- North Devon Gazette & Advertiser – North Devon
- North Somerset Times – North Somerset
- Norwich Extra – Norwich (replacing Norwich Advertiser)
- Property Extra
- Saffron Walden Reporter – Saffron Walden
- Sidmouth Herald – Sidmouth
- Tunbridge Wells on Saturday/Sunday – Royal Tunbridge Wells
- Watton Times – Thetford & Watton, Norfolk
- West Suffolk Mercury Series – West Suffolk
- Weston-super-Mare Admag – Weston-super-Mare
- Wymondham & Attleborough Mercury – Wymondham & Attleborough