A senior BBC executive has been appointed editor of a flagship daily newspaper in the first major editorial appointment by its new owners.
JPIMedia has unveiled Neil McIntosh as editor of The Scotsman, while the publisher has also revealed its sister titles the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday will be regaining their own editors.
Neil, pictured, is currently managing editor at BBC Online, and previously held roles on The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian after spending his early journalistic career on The Scotsman and EEN.
In consultation with Neil, individual editors will be appointed for the EEN and Scotland on Sunday, and JPIMedia says each title “will have a distinct personality reflecting the different audiences served”.
The announcement comes after David Montgomery, chairman of JPIMedia’s new owner National World, last month vowed to decentralise JPIMedia and replace what he termed “irrelevant or clickbait stories” with exclusive local content across its titles.
The EEN has not had its own dedicated editor since a management reshuffle two years ago, which saw Euan McGrory take on responsibility for the print editions of six Scottish titles – including The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.
Mr Montgomery 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.”
Neil began his career as a sub-editor on the EEN and later wrote a column about the internet for The Scotsman.
He said: “I’m delighted to be joining The Scotsman as its editor, and look forward to leading the paper and its sister titles through momentous times for Scotland, and our industry.
“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.
“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.”
The commitment to restore dedicated editors for the individual Scotsman Publications titles is likely to be welcomed by staff.
One Scotsman insider told HTFP: “Neil’s arrival is a positive one. I look forward to working with him and his appointment will hopefully be the first in giving the historic titles their own personality once more.