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Weekly goes tabloid after 96 years as broadsheet

A weekly newspaper has made the switch to a tabloid size after 96 years as a broadsheet.

The Stornoway Gazette made the switch last week after it was redesigned under the relaunch programme taking place across regional publisher Johnston Press.

The paper, which has been published since 1917, moved to the new compact size after a survey with readers showed most were in favour of it.

But the first edition of the new-look title, pictured below, was late hitting the shops on its launch day due to adverse weather conditions affecting the ferry transporting the papers to the island, which did not arrive until the afternoon.

Other Johnston Press titles to ditch their broadsheet size include the Berwick Advertiser, The Berwickshire News, The Southern Reporter and the West Sussex County Times.

Editor Melinda Gillen said: “It was very much led by the readership. They had been telling us for quite a few years that the broadsheet is a bit awkward and could we change it to a smaller paper.

“The company did a reader survey recently and it came back overwhelmingly that people wanted it.

“A lot of people have come back and said they really like it. There has only been a few people saying they liked the broadsheet but you are not going to please everybody and hopefully we will take those people with us and they will come to like it.”

Melinda said it was a “real shame” the new-look paper had been late arriving in the shops due to the ferry being hit by bad weather, but it was out of their control and she did not think it had harmed sales

Under the relaunch, there have been wide-ranging design changes and new columns added, including a nature and walking piece.

The title has produced a video to mark the end of its time as a broadsheet which features Rangers captain Lee McCulloch and STV news anchorman John Mackay, which can be viewed here.

The last edition of the broadsheet Stornoway Gazette