Barham Pratt Boorman began his newspaper empire in 1859 with the launch of two local papers, the Kent Examiner and the Ashford Chronicle. His descendants still own the Kent company, which now publishes 30 titles and runs five radio stations and a printing operation that is contracted to print the London free daily paper Metro. Such diversity has driven up profits 30% a year from £2.2m in 1997 to £4.8m in 2000, when the company had 670 staff.
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