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Daily unveils new site with ‘fewer ads’ amid newsroom restructure

Frank OA daily newspaper has unveiled a revamp of its website with “fewer ads” amid an ongoing restructure of its newsroom.

The Scotsman has moved to a new-look site which offers a “better experience” for readers browsing on phones.

The new platform, introduced in response to reader feedback,allows for a “lighter, simpler, faster user experience on the mobile web,” according to the Edinburgh-based daily.

The switch comes as The Scotsman and its JPIMedia sister titles in Scotland prepare to move to the company’s ‘Digital Acceleration’ programme, which sees journalists focus on producing digital content, this month.

Outgoing editorial director Frank O’Donnell, who is leaving the company to become editor-in-chief at Aberdeen’s Press & Journal, said in an announcement to readers: “We’ve listened. You told us you wanted a faster site, with fewer ads. We’ve delivered this.

“You told us you wanted clearer sections to easily access content across news, sport, arts, business and opinion. It’s there. Data shows that 70 per cent of content is accessed via smartphone. The new site offers a better mobile experience.

“From a technology perspective we have built the site on the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) platform. This platform allows for a lighter, simpler, faster user experience on the mobile web.

“The design of the site has focused on keeping the interface as sleek as possible allowing our content to come to the forefront.”

Frank, pictured, has also issued a further update to staff in Scotland on how Digital Acceleration is progressing, after previously revealing a number of senior editorial changes which will be made when the new structure is launched.

As reported on HTFP last month, current Edinburgh Evening News editor Euan McGrory will take on responsibility for six newspapers, including both The Scotsman and his current title, as a result of the move.

In his latest update, Frank revealed that the newsroom will be organised into teams each focusing on a different area including Live news, Politics, and specialist ‘Topics’ such as transport, health, heritage, arts and entertainment, retro, business and property.

The new structure will also include 10 journalists dedicated to football plus a team looking at other sport, while an AV team will focus on pictures, video production and exploring potential podcasting projects.

Wrote Frank: “We have now placed the majority of people into the new newsroom structure and teams and are continuing discussions with remaining people. You have asked to see who is working in which team and we will soon be in a position to share this information with you.

“The Live team is a massively important area for Scotland. It is staffed with talented journalists to ensure we remain the number one place for people for all breaking news, including traffic, weather and crime.

“Our Topics team, made up of specialist reporters, has a different brief. Our journalists in this team will provide unrivalled and in-depth coverage of specialist areas identified by detailed analysis of our readers’ habits.

“To meet our audience needs, we have placed specialist roles against key content areas of- each identified as key areas to drive subscriptions and loyal users.

“We have created a new politics team of six journalists – ensuring we are the place to visit for political coverage. Our Westminster correspondent will work alongside a team covering Holyrood and councils. We also have our Local Democracy Reporters who will add to this team’s coverage.

“And then we have our specialist geographic team who will provide a new court service for our sites, as well as ensuring we continue to cover the key geographies across the whole of Scotland – based in Edinburgh, Falkirk and Fife.”

In his update Frank also announced a series of editorial appointments.

These include Graham Lindsay to the role of sports print editor/head of sport curation (dailies), Emma McGarvie as production manager and Gordon Holmes as regional head of community sport, looking after curated sports content for smaller titles.