This article was originally posted in 2008 – presented at the bottom.

I have updated the list for 2022 and included all media companies.

Top news/information brands: LexisNexis, ScienceDirect, Estates Gazette.
Total revenues: £7.2B

2. BBC
Top news/information brands: BBC News, BBC Studios.
Total revenues: £5.1B (from public licence fee)

3. ITV
Top news/information brands: ITV, Good Morning Britain
Total revenues: £3.5B

4. Sky
Top news/information brands: Sky News, Sky Sports, Sky Atlantic
Total revenues: £17bn ($20.3bn)
Revenue from news activities: £3.2B ($3.9B)

5. News UK
Top news/information brands: The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times, Talksport, Talkradio, TalkTV
Total revenues: £2B ($2.4B News Corp global news revenue)

6. Bauer Media Group UK
Top news/information brands: Grazia, Empire, Cosmopolitan, Absolute Radio brands
Total revenues: £1.9B (€2.2bn – global revenue)

7. Informa
Top news/information brands: CRC Press, Informa Markets, Taylor & Francis
Total revenues: £1.8B

8. Channel 4
Top news/information brands: Channel 4 News, Film 4, E4
Total revenues: £934M

9. DMGT (Daily Mail and General Trust)
Top news/information brands: Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Mail Online, the i, Metro
Total revenues: £885M

10. Reach
Top news/information brands: Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Manchester Evening News
Total revenues: £615.8M

Sources: public annual accounts


From the 2008 post: The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London has been running a series on the “Britain’s biggest private companies” over the last week or so – covering the top 10 retailers, property, manufacturers, food and drink, transport and leisure, business services, financial services, utilities, and resources companies in Britain.

As quoted from the Telegraph website:

Many of Britain’s biggest companies are now in private hands, and The Daily Telegraph is profiling 100 of the most successful in a two-week series.

In the 22 August 2008 Telegraph newspaper, they listed the top 10 Britain media companies – and the list makes for interesting reading (note the Daily Telegraph group has been excluded from the list).

1 Guardian Media Group: Profit £306m
2 D. C. Thomson & Co: Profit £65m
3 RCD1 Ltd: Profit £57.4m
4 Symbian: Profit £50.9m
5 The Economist Newspaper: Profit £49m
6 Northgate Information Solutions: Profit £31.9m
7 Global Radio: Profit £19m (estimated)
8 Archant Ltd: Profit £16m
9 BBH Holdings: Profit £7.9m
10 Haymarket Group: Profit £8m

The interesting ones for me are Symbian (not bad from humble beginnings as Psion), and Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH).  BBH is one of the world’s larger advertising agencies that represent giants such as British Airways, Vodafone (I love their “make the most of now” campaign) and Audi. They also feature highly in the mobile space, having recently been named “Agency of the Year” at the recent mobile marketing awards.

Good signs that British Private companies can make it on the world stage.