Trinity Mirror revamps Scottish operation as Media Scotland, under new editorship

GREATER sharing of content between the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers and their local sister titles across Scotland has been identified as a key target in an overhauling of publisher, Trinity Mirror's Scottish operation.

The various divisons within Trinity Mirror's operation north of the border – including the near 20-strong Scottish & Universal local newspapers one – are being rolled into a brand new entity, Media Scotland.

With Mark Hollinshead – currently managing director of TM's national newspapers – as the managing director of Media Scotland, its editorial head will be Allan Rennie, who will have the title, editor-in-chief – with immediate effect.

It means – as was being widely speculated yesterday – the departure of Bruce Waddell, appointed editor-in-chief of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail two years ago after becoming editor of the Daily Record eight years ago.

Prior to Waddell's new responsibility with the Sunday Mail, Rennie had been editor of the Sunday Mail. These last two years, he has been editorial development director of Trinity Mirror's national titles. He now occupies one of the biggest media posts outside London.

Media Scotland will not only comprise the Daily Record, Sunday Mail and local newspapers such as the Ayrshire Post, West Lothian Courier, Hamilton Advertiser and Paisley Daily Express, it will also include an integrated websites portfolio and an events section, which only the other day co-hosted the Sunday Mail and sportscotland Sports Awards, broadcast on STV.

Says a Trinity Mirror statement, announcing 'Scotland's biggest publishing business': “The new company comprises the iconic national titles the Daily Record and Sunday Mail; a market leading portfolio of 20 local newspapers, including the Ayrshire Post and Stirling Observer; Business Insider magazine; an events division and 36 vibrant local and commercial websites. Media Scotland will deliver unrivalled scale and reach across the Scottish market reaching 1.5 million readers each weekday and 1.1 million readers on a Sunday. In addition, it will reach 2.6 million unique digital users a month.”

It is understood that Waddell chose to take a redundancy package than apply for the job now secured by Rennie.

The content sharing move continues a recent trend that has seen the Daily Record and Sunday Mail increasingly share editorial with their Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirrror sister titles.

The example used to illustrate the logic of that move was the two sources of coverage – one for the Mirror titles, the other for the Record/Sunday Mail – of the trapped Chilean miners just over a year ago. The example that will be used to illustrate this more closer-to-home content initiative involves Scotland's oldest graduate, featured in the S&UN title, the Perthshire Advertiser, and later published in the Record. The creation of the one integrated Media Scotland company is designed to remove any barriers that might prevent good local stories reaching their national sister titles.

It is not yet clear what, if any, editorial posts might be at risk because of the increased sharing of content. Nor has a decision been made as to whether it might make sense to have the sub-editing of some or all the local newspapers take place at the same, Central Quay headquarters, in Glasgow, of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

During the summer, 85 editorial posts were shed from the Daily Record and Sunday Mail. In August, half a dozen free local newspapers published by S&UN were shut.

When, two years ago, Trinity Mirror announced Waddell's appointment as editor-in-chief, it was also to announce plans to develop a “fully integrated editorial operation which includes a multi-million pound investment in cutting-edge technology” which would ”lead to the development of a single integrated editorial production operation across both the Daily Record and Sunday Mail and the division's associated websites and titles including the [free] Glaswegian and Business 7 [since folded into the main section of the Record]“.

The statement quotes Hollinshead saying: “The creation of Media Scotland denotes the start of a dynamic new era in Scottish media. With our unique blend of national and local content, the combined reach of our portfolio of print and digital brands will deliver unrivalled coverage across the Scottish market. I look forward to working with our new top team in the exciting times ahead.”

He additionally told allmediascotland.com: “It's about scale, new advertising packages, cross-promotion and circulation initiatives and editorial innovation.” 

At a presentation made to staff, he said: “The creation of Media Scotland means we can combine our strengths to form a business of scale, giving us the firepower to capitalise on the strength and position of our market leading positions across Scotland.

“Through working together with the unique blend of local and national content which we create, Media Scotland will deliver the right editorial to readers both in print and on line at the right time.

“This will ensure we continue to satisfy our readers needs and widen reach and penetration for advertisers across Scotland. As a single management team working across the business with common goals and on common platforms, we are better equipped to produce the building blocks for growth.

“Over the coming months we will be focussing on building our business on several fronts. These include: growing advertising revenues in key categories through cross-selling packages across our portfolio from print to digital; improving circulation trends of our national, daily and weekly titles through cross promotion and editorial innovation; growing our digital revenues through the development of a new Scottish digital strategy and diversifying into new revenue streams.”

He finished by saying: “This is the dawn of a new era in Scottish publishing, and you can all take pride in being here at the birth of a business that will shape the Scottish media landscape for years to come.” 

The creation of Media Scotland means Bill Steven, managing director of S&UN now becomes business development director, reporting to Hollinshead. Alan Woodison, currently editor-in-chief of several S&UN newspapers, has been promoted to take a wider editorial responsibility within Media Scotland, reporting to Rennie.

Denise West, currently commercial director of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, becomes commercial director of Media Scotland.

Waddell was unavailable for comment. A former editor of The Scottish Sun, there will be speculation of a return to News International, where there remains a Sunday tabloid gap in its portfolio, following the closure of the News of the World during the summer. 

But the Trinity Mirror statement quotes him, as saying: “I've had eight great years at the helm of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, but it's time for change. I now look forward to a fresh challenge and exploring new opportunities.” 

In total, Media Scotland will comprise:

Print:

Daily Record
Sunday Mail
The Glaswegian
Metro Scotland
Insider
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Wishaw Press
East Kilbride News
Rutherglen Reformer
Hamilton Advertiser
West Lothian Courier
Perthshire Advertiser (Tues)
Perthshire Advertiser (Fri)
Blairgowrie Advertiser
Strathearn Herald
Stirling Observer (Wed)
Stirling Observer (Fri)
Dumfries & Galloway Standard (Wed)
Dumfries & Galloway Standard (Fri)
The Galloway News
Paisley Daily Express
Ayrshire Post
Irvine Herald
Kilmarnock Standard
Lennox Herald
Scottish Recruitment
Ayrshire & Arran Visitor
Lanarkshire & Clyde Valley Visitor
Central Tayside Visitor

Online:

Daily Record/Sunday Mail
The Glaswegian
Scotcareers
RoadRecord
Business7/Insider
Local Mole
Pet Champ
DIY Donny
Cook Scotland
Glasgow City Living
Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Wishaw Press
East Kilbride News
Rutherglen Reformer
Hamilton Advertiser
West Lothian Courier
Perthshire Advertiser
Blairgowrie Advertiser
Strathearn Herald
Stirling Observer
Dumfries & Galloway Standard
Paisley Daily Express
Ayrshire Post
Irvine Herald
Kilmarnock Standard
Lennox Herald
icScotland

Events:

Insider 500 Business Breakfast
Scottish Restaurant Awards
Young Scot Awards
Co-operative Development Scotland Conference
Scotland PLC Awards
Our Heroes
Insider Conference
Scottish Accountancy Awards
Julie Hannah Style School
Scottish Education Awards
Deals & Dealmakers Awards
Scottish Green Awards
SDI Conferences
Great Scot Awards
Scottish Leadership Awards
Hampden Football Hall of Fame Dinner
Scottish Health Awards
SME300 Awards
Sunday Mail Sports Awards

If you have a comment or op ed to make, please send to info@allmediascotland.com (AMS's current comment service is currently unavailable).

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