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‘Downsizing’ just one option for flagship daily says JP

Johnston Press has poured cold water on suggestions that flagship daily The Scotsman will be ‘downsized’ in the New Year.

Media commentator Roy Greenslade has reported that the paper is to axe its weekend magazine, reduce pagination by up to eight pages a day, and move to a single edition structure from 6 January.

The National Union of Journalists has also said that “high level talks” are planned for this week about possible job losses and restructuring at the Edinburgh-based title.

However publisher Johnston Press has refused to confirm the reports and says the changes are only “options” currently under consideration.

Editor Ian Stewart briefed staff about some of the possible proposals last week, but the company insists no decisions have been made.

According to Mr Greenslade, the paper is planning to replace the standalone weekend magazine with an enhanced arts pullout and pre-printed TV guide in the  main paper, as well as reducing its comment section to two days a week.

However JP said it was “a little early” to say whether some of the ideas mentioned in the briefing will go ahead.

“Any ideas which are being considered will take quite some time to turn into detailed specific plans and nothing has, as yet, been confirmed,” said a spokeswoman.

Mr Greenslade also reported that sister title Scotland on Sunday would change from broadsheet to a compact in line with The Scotsman’s format, possibly foreshadowing a move to a seven-day Scotsman.

And he claimed that Johnston Press’s recent voluntary redundancy scheme had attracted more than 80 applications from staff at The Scotsman and its sister titles.

However the company has said the voluntary redundancy discussions are still ongoing and that there are “no confirmed numbers” as yet.

It has also declined to put a figure on the overall number of applicants for the scheme, which closed on 1 November.


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  • November 11, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Sorry to hear this. What are the other options on the table?

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  • November 11, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Or JP top-brass could simply do the same as other publications in the portfolio, and push the paper’s self-destruct button.

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  • November 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    “Little early” to say if some of the ideas will go ahead?
    If it’s the JP I know and ‘love’, the decision is already made and will go ahead – I’ve yet to come across a JP ‘consultation’ where people’s views are actually listened to and management don’t plough ahead with whatever ill-thought-out scheme is popular that month.

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