Edinburgh's three newspapers – The Scotsman
, Scotland on Sunday
and the Edinburgh Evening News
– now have dedicated editors once again. Following the appointment of former BBC top executive, Neil McIntosh, as editor of The Scotsman
, Euan McGrory has retaken charge at the Edinburgh Evening News
(EEN) and Catherine Salmond has been promoted from her role of live news editor at The Scotsman
and EEN to edit Scotland on Sunday
. Alan Young has also been appointed deputy editor of The Scotsman.
These three major appointments mean that National World, which bought major UK newspaper publisher, JPIMedia, the owner of all three Edinburgh titles, for £10.6 million in January, continues to fulfil its pledge to appoint dedicated editors to each of its more than 200 newspaper titles across the UK.
McGrory becomes the EEN's first dedicated editor in four years after initially being appointed to the role in 2018. However, in 2020 he had been moved to become editor (print) Scotland in a restructuring which meant he held responsibility for the print production of six of JPIMedia's Scottish titles.
The latest appointments were revealed on Twitter by McIntosh, who wrote: 'The new roles are part of JPIMedia's commitment to editors living and working in the communities they serve. They are a brilliant trio, and I cannot wait to work with them. We have huge plans for all our titles – online and in print'.
McGrory commented: 'This is a really exciting time for Edinburgh and the Lothians, with so much about to happen in the city, and so much change going on. There is a fantastic team taking shape at the Edinburgh Evening News
and we have some big plans for taking the title forward. The paper has been at the heart of its communities for generations and that is what we will be building on with everything we do'.
The UK's fledgling nationwide television news channel, GB News, will launch at 8pm on Sunday 13 June. It has already started broadcasting test content on Freeview and YouView Channels 236 and Freesat channel 216. Its headquarters are in Paddington, London.
Veteran Paisley-born journalist and broadcaster, Andrew Neil, who is the GB News chairman, leads the evening line-up with a primetime news and interview programme. I will give you a detailed rundown next week on the broadcasting staff who have been hired to date.
The channel's director of news, John McAndrew, has worked for the BBC, Sky News, ITN and NBC. He told Press Gazette
: 'We can sense a real hunger for something fresh and different in television news and debate. It is humbling because we are a small start-up with a fraction of the resources of others, but what we lack in size we make up for in passion and determination to provide a welcoming home for honest British news and debate. All our presenters will have the freedom to say what they think, to have some fun, and to be brave about covering the issues that really matter to the people of Britain'.
Guto Harri, a former BBC journalist and the communications chief to Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London, who will co-host a weekly news and discussion programme, commented: 'GB News is pioneering a new way in television news and debate with an energy and feistiness that really appeals to me'.
GB News declares it wants to find 'new voices from every part of the country… to help us shake things up', and is building up a dedicated regional reporting team. Covering Scotland is Wick-born freelance journalist, David Donaldson, who has been a broadcaster for the past 15 years.
Aberdeen City Council has lodged an application to demolish the former Lang Stracht home of Aberdeen Journals Ltd (AJL) – tenanted by The Press and Journal
(P&J) and Evening Express
from 1970 to 2018. It has lain empty since the move of more than 200 staff to city centre premises on the top floor of Marischal Square. It will cost £900,000 to demolish the former AJL offices and surrounding structures.
The move to the Lang Stracht followed AJL's rambling building in Broad Street being demolished in 1970 to make way for Aberdeen City Council's municipal chambers. Both newspapers had been printed there since 1894. Printing the titles at the Lang Stracht ceased in 2013 when the print operation was switched to Dundee at the headquarters of DC Thomson Media who now own AJL.
National publisher Reach's four Sunday titles – the Daily Star Sunday
, Sunday Express
, Sunday Mirror
and Sunday People
– were the only national newspaper titles to have a lower circulation in April than they did during the UK's strictest COVID-19 lockdown one year earlier.
According to the latest ABC statistics, the rest of the UK's national newspapers are back above the circulations of their worst COVID-19 slump. Most paid-for titles were able to keep their April circulations similar to March, with a drop of 1% the largest nationally, and of 2% at Scotland's Sunday Mail
– the biggest overall.
The Sunday Mail's
circulation was down year-on-year by an appreciable 6% to 85,450 copies. Significantly, and worryingly for Dundee-based DC Thomson Media, The Sunday Post
was down year-on-year by 11% to 65,563 copies. Scotland's Daily Record
fell by 1% year-on-year to 86,253. These three Scottish titles are the only ones being returned by ABC as the remainder of our Scottish-based newspapers don't wish to have their circulations made public.
The UK Government's Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, has written to the Commissioner of Public Appointments saying he wants a second competition for the £142,500-a-year role of chair of media regulator Ofcom. According to Press Gazette: 'Former Daily Mail
editor and vocal BBC critic, Paul Dacre, was reportedly [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson's preferred choice during the initial interviews but rejected by the assessment panel'.
Julian Knight, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said he would be writing to Dowden to seek assurances that previous candidates for the role did not reapply. The Financial Times
has reported that Dacre, who edited the Daily Mail
with a rod of iron for 26 years, is expected to stay in the contest.
Knight pointed out: 'This is not the first occasion on which this committee has raised concerns about the appointments process within the remit of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As a result of this unnecessary delay, the communications regulator finds itself without a chair at what could not be a more critical time as the government prepares to legislate against online harms'.
Ofcom is expected to gain responsibility for regulating social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok under forthcoming online harms legislation.
The Thomson Family, which owns the Dundee-headquartered publishing company which encompasses newspapers, magazines and television stations, are 130th in the UK in the Sunday Times
Rich List 2021 with an estimated fortune of £1.271 billion – down £136 million on 2020. Others featured on the list include the Barclay Family (Daily
and Sunday Telegraph
) at No 28 with £6 billion – down £1 billion from 2020; Jean-Francois Decaux and Family at No 68 at £2.47 billion (media interests unknown); Mike Danson at No 119 on £1.408 billion (New Statesman
); Viscount Rothermere and Family at No 160 on £1.08 billion (Daily Mail General Trust); and Sir Evelyn and Lady de Rothschild at No 225 at £702 million (Reuters News Services).
Canada-based Lord (David) Thomson of Fleet, whose family at one time owned STV, Thomson Regional Newspapers (which included The Press and Journal
(P&J), Newcastle Journal
, and Belfast Telegraph
), The Scotsman Publications, The Times
and the Sunday Times
, and now runs Thomson Reuters, features at No 36 in the Sunday Times's
50 Richest In The World list with an estimated fortune of £30.3 billion. Incidentally, there are a record 171 billionaires in the UK with a combined wealth of £597.269 billion – up £106.582 billion on 2020.
The Celtic Media Festival has cancelled its 2021 in-person event – due to be held in Quimper in Brittany, France in September. The festival, which is an annual celebration of broadcasting, film talent and excellence from Scotland, Ireland, Galicia, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man, will instead go ahead online from 7-9 September. And for the first time in its history, it will be free of charge to all delegates.
Festival director, Catriona Logan, announced: 'We look forward to welcoming you all onto our online platform and hope you join us on Facebook Live on 14 June for the nominee announcement for 2021 with the International Pitching Forum details to be announced soon'. For full information, please visit: www.celticmediafestival.co.uk