1. Callum now editorial supremo at Newsquest Scotland
Congratulations to Callum Baird on his elevation to editor-in-chief of all Newsquest Scotland's titles in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In his new role, he becomes editorial supremo of 26 titles including The Herald
, the Herald on Sunday
, The National
and the Glasgow Evening Times
. He is now also nominally in charge of all Newsquest Scotland's weekly newspapers in Scotland and Northern Ireland but he stressed to me that the editors of its weekly newspapers are all first-rate professionals whom have full autonomy over their titles... and he certainly wouldn't like to try to claim any credit for their successes.
Callum has most definitely been on a fast track since joining Newsquest Scotland in early 2013 – straight from graduating with a Masters degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University. Wishaw-born Callum, 36, initially joined the publishing group on The Herald's
sports desk – working primarily in production plus some reporting stints.
He moved over to The National
when it was launched in 2014 under Richard Walker as its editor – first as a sub-editor, then as assistant editor before being appointed as the editor in late 2015. Then, in late 2019, he became managing editor of both The National
and the Glasgow Evening Times
, and since then has also been responsible for two newly-launched Old Firm subscription websites – The Celtic Way
and the Rangers Review
– both of which are proving really successful publications.
In editing The National
, Callum has led a vigorous campaigning news agenda at Scotland's only independence supporting title. Interestingly, in the 2014 independence referendum, its stablemate The Herald
backed the 'No' vote.
Callum told Scottish Review
: 'I am really looking forward to working with our editorial teams to keep producing quality journalism. Our newspapers are led by the best team of editors in the UK, and our titles punch above their weight both in terms of strong performing print sales and high volumes of digital subscriptions. We will continue to innovate and launch new platforms, brands and projects at Newsquest Scotland as we have always done. I would also like to thank Donald Martin for his work in recent years as editor-in-chief and for the support and advice he has given me in that period'.
2. Donald Martin is now heading for pastures new
Callum Baird succeeds Donald Martin, who is one of the longest-serving editorial chiefs in the UK regional press after more than 30 years editing various titles. Donald has stepped down just weeks after the appointment of David Ward as the new managing director of Newsquest Scotland in succession to his long-serving predecessor Graeme Morrison.
Thus ends one of the most notable regional press careers of recent times which has seen Donald edit The Herald
and the Glasgow Evening Times
, The Sunday Post
in Dundee, Aberdeen's Evening Express
and the North West Evening Mail
in South Cumbria.
In a farewell message to editorial staff in Glasgow, Donald hinted at a new career helping individuals and businesses to manage change. He said: 'After more than 30 fantastic years as an editor, including two stints at The Herald
, managing two Sunday national newspapers, three regional dailies and numerous weeklies and magazines, the time is right for fresh challenges and opportunities. I have achieved more than I could ever have imagined and been fortunate to have worked with so many talented people – including the dynamic management team under Graeme Morrison at Newsquest Scotland.
'The new phase of my adventure really excites me as I bring my skills and experience to work with executives and organisations on making a positive difference as the world goes through a generational transition. The difficult challenges we have successfully embraced in media and the leadership skills gained along that journey will allow me to help individuals and businesses thrive under pressure and make the structural and strategic changes required.
'It has been a privilege and honour to lead a flagship brand such as The Herald
, and their brilliant journalists and columnists, and I wish them every success in the future.'
Donald's first editorship was at the free weekly, the Edinburgh and Lothians Post
, aged 24. He subsequently was at the helm of the North West Evening Mail
for four years before editing Aberdeen's Evening Express
for eight years.
Donald then headed to Glasgow to join Newsquest Scotland and edit the Glasgow Evening Times
before being appointed editor-in-chief of The Herald
and its then stablemate, the Sunday Herald
in 2008. It was then on the road again, this time to Dundee, to join the DC Thomson publishing empire as editor of The Sunday Post
and he returned to Newsquest Scotland in Glasgow in 2016 as editor-in-chief of all its 26 Scottish newspapers and their associated websites.
3. Rhoda Morrison to edit the Edinburgh Evening News
Regional publisher National World has promoted Edinburgh Evening News
(EEN) editor Euan McGrory to editor-in-chief of City World Newspapers which sees him take overall responsibility for two daily newspapers in cities 250 miles apart in his new role as the editorial supremo of the print operations of the Yorkshire Evening Post
(YEP), Sheffield's daily The Star
and the Edinburgh Evening News
Meanwhile the EEN's news editor Rhoda Morrison has been promoted to the editor's chair but she will report to Nancy Fielder – the newly-installed editor-in-chief of National World's city-based 'World' brands – focusing on their digital growth.
City 'World' titles have already been launched in Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle, which has put the group in direct competition editorially with the 'Live'-branded titles of rival publisher Reach plc. Edinburgh, Leeds and Sheffield will now be added to the National World project initiative although the titles there will retain their current identities online.
Euan says: 'This is an exciting opportunity for me to help shape the future of some of the best known and most trusted brands in UK regional journalism. The time is ripe to reimagine what a great city newspaper can and should be'.
Euan and Rhoda Morrison's appointments follow the promotion of both Nancy Fielder, who edited The Star
, and YEP editor, Laura Collins, who is now responsible for 'overseeing the strategic direction of some of [the group's] biggest city websites' in a publisher role.
Rhoda Morrison previously worked for the Bury Free Press and won Trainee of the Year in the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Awards for Excellence in 2019. She then served as digital news editor at Iliffe Media's county-wide title Suffolk News
before returning to her native Scotland last year to take up the EEN's news editor post.
She declared: 'We will continue to champion the local voices and communities that make Edinburgh the best city in the world and a great place to live, work and visit'.
Although restructuring means National World creating 30 digital journalist jobs, a similar number of editorial posts are to be made redundant across the group – including in Scotland where it owns The Scotsman
, Scotland on Sunday
and the Edinburgh Evening News
, plus a number of Scottish weekly titles.
4. Victoria Derbyshire joins BBC's Newsnight team
I am very pleased indeed that, from September, Victoria Derbyshire will succeed Emily Maitlis as joint lead presenter with Kirsty Wark on one of my favourite news and current affairs programmes: BBC2's Newsnight
. I have long admired Victoria's broadcasting skills and was disappointed when there was speculation that she was poised to leave the BBC to join Channel 4.
Victoria, 53, who will continue to co-present the Ukrainecast
podcast, declared: 'This is a special opportunity to take on one of the best jobs in British journalism and help shape the programme's future. I cannot wait to champion more stories about people’s lives while holding those who represent them to account'.
Victoria joins Newsnight
after Maitlis, 51, and the former North America editor Jon Sopel, 63, left the BBC to join Global and launch a daily news podcast on LBC. Newsnight's
policy editor Lewis Goodall will shortly join them as the third host on the podcast and as analysis and investigations editor, concentrating on video journalism and breaking news.
You may recall that, up until two years ago, Victoria had had her own weekday current affairs programme on BBC 2 and the BBC News Channel which reached a television audience of around 300,000. However, it was taken off-air after a five-year run amid cuts to the BBC's news services. Victoria only found out about the loss of her programme on reading about it in the media – and, naturally, admitted she was 'devastated'. So I am delighted for her that she has been handed an exciting new role.
editor Stewart Maclean commented: 'Victoria is one of the most tenacious journalists in the business, with a fantastic ability to ask the straightforward questions our viewers want answered, and a shelf-full of major awards for her work'.
5. BBC News and BBC World News set to be merged
The merger of the UK-focused BBC News and internationally-focused BBC World News channels into a single 24-hour television channel called BBC News, serving both audiences, will also see the corporation's largest radio shows visualised on television – beginning with Radio 5 Live's Scottish-born Nicky Campbell.
The BBC will broadcast the new global channel – set to launch in April 2023 – from London during UK daytime and Singapore and Washington DC during the rest of the day.
The merged channel will remain free-to-watch and advertising-free for UK viewers with a TV licence, while those watching from abroad will see advertisements – similar to the current set up for BBC World News. It will retain the ability to give UK viewers and international viewers different content at certain times of day and for major domestic news stories.
Meanwhile, the BBC has confirmed 70 job cuts are expected from the BBC News operation in the UK. It also confirmed 20 jobs are expected to be created on and off screen in Washington DC.
The BBC plans to merge the two channels in a major reform of its operations aimed at saving £500m over the next few years. These plans include axing the BBC Four and CBBC channels on television and making them online-only.
Global breaking news will be covered by a new live news team. And the BBC has promised a number of flagship news programmes built around high-profile journalists but has not yet given us any more detail. The plans to visualise programmes based on popular radio shows will be similar to the style adopted by commercial radio rivals like LBC and Talkradio – first on Youtube and now, in Talkradio's case, on TalkTV.
For sports, the UK-facing daily round-up, Sportsday
, will still feature alongside multiple new global-facing programmes.
BBC News digital director, Naja Nielsen, explained: 'Our aim is to create the best live and breaking video news service in the world – on our web pages, our apps, on iPlayer and on our new TV news channel. The way audiences consume news is changing. In recent years, we have seen a huge surge in audiences coming to our live coverage, with tens of millions following live pages when big stories and events unfold.
'As the world's most trusted source of news, with a huge depth and breadth of expertise, the BBC is uniquely placed to offer audiences the best analysis and explanation as these stories are unfolding. So we are investing in new capability to cover breaking news stories, and our news channel and digital teams will work hand in hand to bring the best journalism to audiences both at home and abroad.'
The plans are now subject to a consultation with BBC staff and trade unions.
6. Andrew Neil to get second series on Channel 4
Channel 4 are to air a second series of Andrew Neil's news and current affairs programme on Sunday evenings. And former Daily Mirror
editor Richard Wallace is joining News UK's fledgling TalkTV news channel as head of television. Wallace edited the Daily Mirror
from 2004 to 2012 and later worked for Simon Cowell as senior vice-president television and production for Syco Entertainment.
7. Origins of the PM's 'them's the breaks' phrase
The Scottish Daily Mail's
Ephraim Hardcastle diary, which is edited by veteran Fleet Street journalist, Irish-born John McEntee, 70, claims that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's significant phrase on his resignation plight – 'them's the breaks' – originated in the US and refers to when a pool player takes the first shot, scattering the balls, and each player has to subsequently accept where they end up. McEntee drily remarks: 'Whatever happened to That's the way the cookie crumbles
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Caithness-born Hamish Mackay is now in his 57th year as an occasional/sometimes regular contributor to the UK's exceedingly diverse media market