NWN Media Ltd is one of the UK's leading independent media groups.
The company publishes a portfolio of daily, weekly and monthly publications and a series of up to the minute, interactive websites. Combined, the group reaches an audience of around a million people every week. Included within the group’s portfolio is the oldest weekly newspaper in Wales and some of the newest, technology–driven websites in the UK.
The group has a number of successful divisions that provide additional services from contract print, design through to distribution providing a complete marketing solution to a vast array of businesses.
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The company began in Oswestry in the mid 1800's when a small time printer published a railway timetable sold to 1,000 members of the public. Gradually news and advertisements were added.
A series of takeovers of small printing works resulted in the establishment of the new firm of Woodall, Minshall and Thomas (the start of the Thomas family dynasty). The Border Counties Advertizer was then launched, followed by the Wrexham Leader. By 1932, the Y Cymro and Montgomeryshire Express were also part of the group.
Rowland Thomas became the dynamic force behind the company and it was his skill and enthusiasm that took the company through the difficult times of the war and other financial problems. It was Rowland's son Eric, who, after returning from the war qualified as a barrister and then joined the company and by 1949 he was at the helm with Rowland Thomas remaining chairman. Rowland died in 1959 aged 70 leaving the company in Eric's hands.
With director, Tom Roberts, Eric started to expand particularly on the North Wales coast in Rhyl, Denbigh, Bangor and at Colwyn Bay, borrowing money from the bank and another newspaper publisher, to complete the deals. Eric brought his nephew, Robbie Thomas, a trained journalist, into the business, who eventually became managing director whilst Eric was Chairman. In 1973 the company made a massive financial investment in launching the Evening Leader, with editions going into Wrexham then Flintshire and finally Chester.
Fifteen years later the company moved its headquarters to Mold being more central to its readers and advertisers.
The staff transferred during May 1988, with the introduction of a completely new computer system and a 7 half unit, full colour, new Goss press.
Eric Thomas died in 1996 aged 76. It was a huge loss to his family and the staff, with whom he held a very special relationship.
In April 1998 the company continued its growth and acquired the very popular, three edition Chester Standard, a free weekly with a distribution of 90,000, adding further value to company's portfolio.
In April 2008 HRH Prince Charles officially opened a new, state of the art Print Centre for the company, located in Deeside. This was a significant investment by the company and illustrated its commitment to printing and publishing in Wales. The company now being the only newspaper printer in the whole of Wales.
In 2010 the group added the Whitchurch Herald to the portfolio and in early 2011 the company acquired the Hereford and Shrewsbury Admags. Thus further extending the geographical coverage and readership of the group into Shropshire and Herefordshire.
In 2013 a reorganisation of the company changed the board of directors and a new shareholding structure was implemented split between two families.
Production and Business Development Director Anthony Moss and Operations Director Huw Jones continue to work in the business while also sitting as board members and shareholders. Nonna Woodward left the Board at this juncture to pursue other interests.
The company's headquarters remains in Mold and the company now employs 250 people in 12 offices spanning the full geography of the group's coverage in Mid and North Wales, Cheshire, Wirral, Shropshire and Herefordshire.