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Paper change

BBC Online chief McIntosh named Scotsman editor

Former sub-editor takes over at The Scotsman

BBC executive Neil McIntosh is to become editor of The Scotsman as JPI Media reverts to separate editors for its key titles.

Mr McIntosh, 46, is currently managing editor, BBC Online, and previously held roles on The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian.

He spent his early journalistic career at The Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News.

Editors will be appointed for the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday. Following a series of severe cutbacks it will mean the new editor of Scotland on Sunday will double the full-time staff on the title.

JPI Media emerged from the collapse of Johnston Press in 2018 and was run by a group of US-led hedge fund managers who spent the next two years looking for a buyer with a reputed price tag of £50m.

In December David Montgomery, chairman of National World, paid a cut-price £10.2m to acquire JPI Media, which includes the Yorkshire Post, Falkirk Herald and scores of other local and regional titles around the UK.

He has since dispensed with the top management and some senior editorial staff.

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He said: “As a public company with media franchises across the nations and regions of the UK we have introduced a localisation strategy that devolves responsibility to our individual franchises.

“Our Scottish newspapers, with The Scotsman as the flagship title, will support their communities by publishing reliable journalism produced by knowledgeable writers who live locally.

“The editors are asked to provide leadership in holding our democratic institutions to account and advancing the economic interests of each community.

“Neil will provide that leadership and the highest standard of reporting for The Scotsman at this important time.”

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Mr McIntosh was educated at Dunoon Grammar School and Edinburgh Napier University.

He was a sub-editor on the Evening News and later wrote a column about the Internet for The Scotsman.

He said: “I’ve been impressed by David’s vision and ambition for The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday. Under National World’s ownership there’s a brilliant opportunity to build The Scotsman‘s position as Scotland’s national newspaper, and develop unmissable journalism that gets to the heart of the country, and the communities within it.

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“The strength and dedication of the newsroom has been evident through the last very difficult year. I’m looking forward to working with the team to build on the titles’ strengths online, and in print.”

Mr McIntosh’s online background point to a digital focus and will raise questions about the company’s medium to long term commitment to print.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations The Scotsman “is working towards verification” of its sale with a registration date of 14 January 2021.

For the period July-December 2018, The Scotsman was selling an average of 16,349 copies per day, of which 8,673 were paid single copies, 4,560 were paid subscriptions and 3,116 were bulk purchases.

By the end of 2019 the daily sale of The Scotsman was 14,938. It is thought the daily over-the-counter sale is about 5,000-7,000 copies which will have been impacted by lockdown.

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