Press Release : Monday 2nd April - 9am
Irish Racehorse owner and social entrepreneur Aibreán Amadán today announced that he has formed a partnership with Roger Tichborne, to launch a new news media corporation, Barneteye Universal Media Ltd. The new company will be based at the new development at Frogmore House, Mill Hill and will comprise of all Barnet Eye website media, Mill Hill Music Complex studios and The Mill Hill Space Company Ltd - a recently formed office services company.
Barneteye Universal Meidia Ltd also announced it's intention to procure the rights to the Times Series Group of Papers operating in the Barnet Area. Mr Amadán said "I have been highly impressed with the way that the Barnet Eye blog has grown from nothing to develop a committed readership and following. Whilst local press and media have been in a state of terminal decline, it is clear that the online market is experiencing explosive growth. We believe that electronic publishing is the way forward and we believe that this should be managed with a phased migration away from paper based news products". Mr Amadán also announced an intention to invest heavily in the local Library service. He added "We believe that local libraries should be developed as technology hubs for local councils. We believe that the current plans to run down libaries is a criminal waste of resources. We intend to refresh and revitalise the libraries of Barnet, with new technology to enhance and rebuild the service".
Mr Amadán stated that every person over the age of 85 should receive a free Kindle or other similar technology with free downloads. This would cut millions of pounds worth of overheads from the councils library service, freeing up space and resources for more fit for purpose developments in keeping with the 21 century. Mr Amadán explained that as many elderly people see the library as a meeting place and social hub, it is important to develop this aspect of the service.
Mr Amadán was also named as the secret backer behind the film "A Tale of Two Barnets". He explained "Roger Ticborne explained the project to me at Kempton Park last year over a pint of Guinness. I was truly excited by the concept of a community film and have invested heavily in the project to ensure the success of the film. I also became interested in Mr Tichborne's ideas of developing a truly community based news media outlet, written for the people and by the people. An online newspaper where everyone in the community is a journalist and the most popular stories are the ones which make the front page. We are developing a truly revolutionary news portal, which will be democratic and inclusive. Unlike the existing paper news, every community, Irish, Jewish, Greek, Hindu, Moslem can have it's own local news section and will be able to generate revenue for their own communities by placed advertising. A traditional newspaper can't have street level news, but we can and it will be 100% up to date. We will utilise local twitter feeds and subscriptions to ensure that you see news in your neighbourhood as it happens."
As to the role of the existing paper based Times product, Mr Amadán explained "The role of the traditional newspaper in this, is to use it's distribution network to ensure that everyone is made aware of the Barnet Eye website and associated services. We envisage doing many joint promotions with local High Streets and using vouchers and coupons to reinvigorate Barnets High Streets. We are also planning to work with the council to pioneer "parking charge suspensions on key days and times of the week, in association with the promotions. We believe that this will show a true commitment to the High Street in Barnet."
Mr Roger Tichborne, editor of the Barnet Eye stated "I have known Mr Amadán for many years. We are lucky that he has chosen to work with us in Barnet to rebuild our community. These are truly exciting times to live in the London Borough of Barnet". Mr Tichborne added "I have been working to build a successful blog for the last four years. With the vision and backing of Mr Amadán, we can build a truly world class news outlet here in Barnet. One which we can all be proud of. It is interesting because Mr Amadáns name, Aibreán Amadán, in Gaelic means Maker of Change and that is what we are going to see in Barnet as our plans develop.
Notes to News Editors.
1. This publication is embargoed until 9am on Monday 2nd April.
2. Mr Aibreán Amadán is a resident of County Kildare and his role in the organisation is purely one of backer and mentor.
3. Barnet Unoversal Media Ltd is in the process of being incorporated.
4. Mr Aibreán Amadán will be staging a press conference at 3pm on Tuesday 3rd April at Frogmore House, Bunns Lane Works, Mill Hill, London, NW7 2AJ.
5. Mr Aibreán Amadánis keen to stress that there will be no redundancies within Times Group newspapers for a minimum of 3 years following successful completion of the takeover. Mr Aibreán Amadán hopes that all staff can be transitioned to the new online delivery channel.
6. Mr Aibreán Amadánwill be contacting Barnet Council on Wednesday 4th April to discuss his plans for a large investment in the Barnet Library network, subject to suspension of plans to close Friern Barnet Library.