Latest paper shuffle
McGrory to take on role of editing six Scottish titles
New editor will take on six titles (pic: Terry Murden)
Edinburgh Evening News editor Euan McGrory is to extend his responsibility to five other newspapers as JPIMedia stretches its resources to manage diminishing sales and staff.
Mr McGrory, who is also deputy editor of The Scotsman, takes up the new role of editor (print) Scotland when the company’s digital-driven restructure is implemented next month.
Insiders have questioned the wisdom of a single editor overseeing the city’s local paper as well as The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Falkirk Herald, Fife Free Press and Southern Reporter. One described it as “unmanageable” while another simply said it was “mad”.
However, JPIMedia has claimed that similar re-modelling of the group’s titles and staff in other parts of the UK has been rewarded with an uplift in digital traffic.
The Scotsman‘s head of content Alan Young will also expand his role across all six titles under the restructure, with the daily paper’s assistant news editor Dale Miller stepping up as his deputy.
The appointments are the latest in a reshuffle of staff as JPIMedia copes with declining print sales and the challenge of replacing lost revenue with digital sales.
Editorial director Frank O’Donnell is leaving the company in an unrelated move to join DC Thomson. JPI Media is searching for an overall Scotland editor.
Chris Dry, long-serving chief sub-editor at Scotland on Sunday, is the only remaining full-time member of the paper’s staff and will now take charge of the print edition on a Saturday.
Paul Wilson, news editor of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, will take charge of The Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News on a Sunday.
A number of specialist roles were announced last week. Among the latest is Scotsman arts and books editor Roger Cox who is appointed specialist editor (arts), while Ian Johnston becomes specialist editor (comment).
The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday remain up for sale, but potential buyers have withdrawn interest.
Daily circulation of The Scotsman for July to December 2019 (ABC figs) was 14,417 of which about half (7,575) were shop-bought single copies. The remainder were subscription and bulk buys.
JPIMedia is made up of a consortium of hedge funds headquartered in the US who assumed control after writing off some of the debt owed by former owner Johnston Press which plunged into administration in November 2018.
The consortium includes Goldentree Asset Management, Benefit Street Partners, CarVal and Fidelity, who also injected £35m of new capital into the company to put it on a more sustainable footing.
The debt was reduced by more than 60% from £220m to £85m, with extended debt maturity to December 2023.