Scottish media site allmediascotland.com has a new look: more about the changes here.
Blogger and media consultant Shaun Milne shares his thoughts on the new look in this post.
Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that a ‘consortium of Scottish businessmen is trying to buy The Scotsman newspaper from the debt-laden Johnston Press’. It claimed:
“Martin Gilbert, the chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, has joined forces with Edinburgh financier Ben Thomson and property developer Mark Shaw to acquire the daily.
“Talks have taken place in recent weeks but the two sides are believed to be a long way apart on price. Industry sources say Johnston is holding out for about £40m for The Scotsman, which it bought from the Barclay brothers for £160m in 2005.
“Sources close to Johnston confirmed an informal approach for the division, which includes Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News, but said there were no plans for a formal sale.”
Also of note is the claim that JP is in discussions with Newsquest, publisher of rival The Herald, ‘about a joint venture to pool resources. Previous attempts to merge the titles were blocked by politicians’.
Like allmediascotland, Journalism.co.uk has received this statement from Johnston Press:
“Johnston Press notes the press speculation regarding the potential disposal of the Scotsman.
“Whilst Company policy is not to comment on such speculation, Johnston Press can confirm that the board does not have any disposal process underway in this regard.”
Shaun Milne sees the soon-to-be launched HeraldScotland site – a merger of the Herald and Sunday Herald websites – as a new opportunity: for design, for the papers to boost their audiences and for journalism graduates.
All staff at Newsquest’s three Glasgow titles, the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times – bar a handful of senior management roles – have been made redundant and told to reapply for their jobs in a move to cut 30-40 posts.
The announcement follows the appointment yesterday of Donald Martin as editor-in-chief across all three titles.
According to a blog post by Shaun Milne, staff have been put on 90-day notice, as part of plans to integrate the three titles. “[T]he titles will adopt a 24/7 approach from a single operation taking in the web, evening, daily and Sunday titles,” writes Milne (in reference to one of the industry’s worst kept secrets this year…)
The announcement comes as BBC Scotland said it would axe 70 jobs, including an expected 20 from news and current affairs – this figure is on top of the 96 redundancies implemented in September, a release from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said.
The NUJ chapel at BBC Scotland has sent a letter to controller Ken MacQuarrie protesting against the proposed job losses.
In a release, Pete Wishart MP, SNP Westminster Culture spokesperson, said the cuts marked ‘a sad day for Scottish journalism’.
Commenting on the Herald&Times cuts, Wishart said:
“Any decision that threatens news coverage and quality is clearly troubling and these cut backs are a backward step by the group’s owners.
“When Newsquest acquired these newspapers they made a commitment to develop and invest in them, regrettably those words do not seem to have been backed up by investment.”