Regular Joe: Social media-led news site wins second rescue

Apr 10, 2024 at 10:34 am by admin

Its focus on an international study of penis size may be an aberration, but UK digital website has defied death a second time with a new rescuer buying the business out of administration.

The penis probe was curiously the top story when GXpress visited its homepage today, but we’ll acknowledge that may have been a browser problem; the regular one is above.

The big news however is that Joe Media has been acquired by Irish entrepreneur Michael O’Rourke in a “pre-pack” deal worth GBP£3.6 million (A$6.88 million), the second time the business had been bought out of administration, after a 2020 rescue was followed by “sustained losses”.

The news and lifestyle site, using a social media-led model, pitches to 18-35 year-olds.

O’Rourke had already held a minority interest in Joe. He is better known as co-founder of the Setanta Sports and Premier Sports TV and streaming networks, and as a shareholder in Irish club Shelbourne FC and the Glasgow Clan ice hockey team.

The business went into administration  days before Christmas after owners Greencastle MM expressed “growing concerns” about its ability to pay staff.

Among creditors listed were Tiktok, Meta, software developer and Chartbeat.

Greencastle, which acquired Joe in June 2020 for GBP£4 million – mostly funded by debt – said in filings that “periods of significant turnover” had been offset by heavy losses. Turnover dropped by 26 per cent in the year just ended to GBP£3.3 million.

The Sunday Times quoted a spokesperson that the business was now profitable and funding from the new ownership would be used for growth and acquisitions.

O'Rourke has increased his investment in the separate business in Ireland, to be a significant investor in both.

Sections: Newsmedia industry


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