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The Buchan Observer’s decision to carry news and photographs on page one, for the first time in its 137-year history, will leave just two paid-for newspapers in the UK with an advertising-only front page.

They are the Craven Herald, in Skipton, and the Cornish and Devon Post in Launceston.

The Buchan Observer, the biggest-selling weekly newspaper in Aberdeenshire, has the distinction of being the last Scottish newspaper to make this quantum leap.

Pictured above is a recent edition of the broadsheet Buchan Observer alongside a dummy of the new front page.

Editor Nic Outterside, formerly Chief Investigative Reporter on the Aberdeen Press & Journal, said: “It is the biggest challenge of my career.”

Nic, who took over the editorship in June, was also an award-winning journalist on the Scotsman and the Sunday Sun and editor of The Argyllshire Advertiser and The Galloway Gazette.

He added: “While you can’t compare what I’m doing here with breaking a big story in a national newspaper – it’s so different – I’ve never got such a thrill as I have working on this re-launch. It’s ground-breaking and really big here in Scotland because we are the last newspaper to make the change.”

The relaunch will be heralded by a party at the four star Palace Hotel in Peterhead on Monday November 6 when the 200 guests will include Banff and Buchan MP Alex Salmond, former leader of the Scottish National Party.

The redesign has been six months in planning by a team comprising the new editor, managing director Michael Robertson and advertising manager Phyllis Mundie.

Nic said the new paper plans to marry hard news, community gossip and features in a 21st century package.

The Buchan Observer, which sells about 9,600 copies a week, has a loyal readership in the fishing town of Peterhead where it is based. The last readership survey carried out, some three years ago, showed the newspaper was bought by almost 85% of Peterhead people and almost 64% of people in the county.

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