(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)
In the Ny Tid board's unanimous decision from the board meeting on 3 January, it was proposed that the current shares in Ny Tid be written down to zero, and that a private placement be made in favor of the publisher NW Damm & Søn AS.
The club in Ny Tid, which represents all employees and substitutes in the newspaper, supports the board's proposal to sell Ny Tid.
- The club has been kept continuously informed about the processes over the past few years, and fully supports the board's recommendation to the extraordinary general meeting on Monday 16 January, says club leader Jógvan H. Gardar.
The employees and the board have been guaranteed that the newspaper's radical traditions will be continued at the time of the transfer, and the newspaper is given full editorial freedom to carry the newspaper further. The club has also received guarantees that all current employees will be able to continue in their jobs.
The newspaper fears closure if new and willing owners fail, and the staff see the proposal presented as a clarification of a long and extensive process where a total board over several years has tried to find new solutions for the newspaper.
Should be even better
Gardar looks very favorably at what has been outlined so far, and points out that the newspaper as it is today should preferably be developed to be even better.
- As of today, this sale was the only alternative. We have been in dialogue with, among others, Dagsavisen and Klassekampen, but those discussions have been going on for several years and it has never happened, he says.
He emphasizes that if the general meeting does not consent to the sale, this will mean that the newspaper must cut positions in the future.
- This is a chance that we can not let go of. There have admittedly been discussions about whether it is right for a group to take over a former party newspaper, but the current owners have not been willing, or had enough capital, to do something with the newspaper.
Åge Rosnes, chairman of Ny Tid and state secretary in the Ministry of Education, points out that the pressured financial situation in the newspaper has been known for a long time, and that small issues have been made from time to time.
- The goal is to secure Ny Tids future and bring in owners who are willing to invest in the newspaper – also in a financial sense, says Rosnes.
He reacts to shareholder Steinar Stjernø's claims in Klassekampen on Wednesday about a "coup-like sale" of Ny Tid.
- I do not understand this type of characteristics and use of terms. The board represents the shareholders, and it is the board that has taken the initiative for this, not Damm, he points out.
- Give it a try
Shareholder and former city council representative in Oslo and county secretary in Akershus SV, Berit Rekve, thinks one should give Damm a chance. The former fiscal politician in SV finds it absurd that someone would rather close down the newspaper than let NW Damm & Søn AS take over.
- The alternative is that Ny Tid dies slowly and surely, and ends up as something people are indifferent to, says Rekve, who has confidence in the chairman of the board and the board's decision.
- Avisa has been in danger of being closed down earlier as well. This is the opportunity to still have a radical weekly newspaper, she says.
The difficult financial situation Ny Tid has worsened in recent years, partly as a result of the fact that press support has not been increased.
Not least, Norway Post's doubling of the postage rates for the weekly newspapers from January 1 also had a lot to say for the newspaper's economy. Postage expenses were doubled abruptly, which would mean an increase in expenses of more than NOK 500.000.
- Jobs in Ny Tid are in danger with the current situation. With Damm as owner, we can secure jobs and hire more journalists. This is how we can get a boost for the radical tradition Ny Tid stands for, says editor Dag Herbjørnsrud.