Bob Statham was the owner of the Weatherfield Recorder. In October 1983, he sold a 33% share of the paper to Ken Barlow and effectively became a sleeping partner as Ken took over the position of editor from Pamela Mitchell. He occasionally put his foot down as the majority shareholder, stopping Ken from publishing an article criticising Mike Baldwin, who advertised his Graffiti Club on the Recorder. Statham told Ken to write a piece about the club and speak about Mike in glowing terms - a personal hurt for a man whose wife had had an affair with Mike earlier that year.
In March 1987, Alf Roberts contacted Statham to complain about Ken using the Recorder to help his campaign when he stood for council against Alf. Statham didn't approve but Ken was undeterred. When an angry Councillor withdrew his advertising, Statham stepped in and told Ken that there was a conflict of interest and that he would have to either withdraw from the election or he'd buy him out of the Recorder. Ken backed down but won the battle as Deirdre took his place in the campaign and beat Alf.
The following year, Statham decided to retire to Spain and asked Ken to make him an offer for his share of the Recorder. Ken offered £30,000 and was angry when Statham accepted the Clarion Group's offer of £40,000 without telling him. Statham left for Spain but returned after being unable to get hold of Nick Cavanagh, owner of the Clarion Group. Ken revealed that he'd disappeared and that he'd borrowed in the newspaper's name and the offices were now closed up as the receivers had been called in. As Statham was never paid for his share of the business, Cavanagh never legally owned it and so Statham again offered it to Ken, accepting the meagre sum of £20,000.