Your Noon Briefing: Daily Record, DC Thomson, Catriona Shearer, The Scotsman front page, etc

WHY was the former Daily Record HQ – at Anderston Quay, in Glasgow – once dubbed ‘Disneyland’? Because, at the time of it becoming the first mass-circulation newspaper in the UK to print in full colour, there were some technological teething problems.

“This disnae work and that disnae work.”

The joke is cracked in a column by The Guardian’s media correspondent, Roy Greenslade, in his appreciation last week of former Daily Record and Sunday Mail chair, Derek Webster, who oversaw the switch to colour during the early 1970s, and who, the other day, died at his home in Glasgow, aged 87.

His funeral is taking place tomorrow at Clydebank Crematorium, North Dalnottar, at 11am.

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YES, because we have been enjoying a festive break at, we are picking out Scots media news for you from the last few days, rather than just the last 24 hours or so…

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READERS of the website, HoldtheFrontPage, have until today to vote online for their favourite newspaper front page of 2013, from a shortlist of ten, which includes The Scotsman’s coverage of the birth of George, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Update later the same day: HoldtheFrontPage announces the competition has been won by the North West Evening Mail.

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DOUBTS have been raised whether a planned TV drama about William Wallace – who led a Scots army to victory over the English exactly 700 years ago – will ever be made.

Reports Martin Williams, in The Herald, on Friday, the ‘blockbuster mini-series’ had been scheduled to be made by STV Productions, with an airing this year.

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CONGRATULATIONS to the BBC Scotland newsreader, Catriona Shearer. Reports The Herald today, she got married on Saturday, at Edinburgh Castle.

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AT Dundee-based publisher, DC Thomson, annual pre-tax profits have reportedly fallen, by 23.8 per cent. But, says the Daily Mail, it’s apparently mainly down to a fall in sales of its books, with the newspaper division actually seeing a profits increase, due to cheaper printing costs – from £1.6 million to £4.3 million.

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SCOTTISH Daily Express owner, Richard Desmond, is understood to be considering a sale of Channel Five, which he also owns.

It was the Financial Times that first reported the story, with the Independent newspaper, among others, going on to pick up the tale.

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NO Scots media folk – as far as can see – in the New Year’s Honours list, but media folk from elsewhere in the UK are recognised.

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ADVERTS served ‘just above the fold’ on a web page apparently enjoy the highest possible visibility.

The tale is among the top ten most-read tech stories of 2013, as polled by (the ‘above the fold’ story was first published during September).

Also among Adweek’s review of the year: The ten ‘best ads’ of 2013 and its top ten advertising stories of 2013.

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THE deaths, during 2013, of Lex Brown (Irvine Herald), Mike Delaney (Glenrothes Gazette), David Johnstone (Berwickshire News), Anne Simpson (The Herald) and Graeme Smith (Herald & Times S1 group) are remembered on HoldtheFrontPage.

Meanwhile, Friday’s edition of The Scotsman carries an obituary – penned by film critic, Brian Pendreigh – of filmmaker, Kay Mander, who died, aged 98, in Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire.

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AND HoldtheFrontPage also notes some of the biggest media moves of the year during 2013, including the appointment of Magnus Llewellin as editor of The Herald and the comeback of former Herald editor, Jonathan Russell, as publishing director of the several Scottish local newspapers produced by Daily Record publisher, Media Scotland.

There’s mention too of Henry Faure Walker moving from Johnston Press, where he was digital director, to become CEO at Newsquest Media Group Ltd.

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HEADS up: The Edinburgh Freelance branch of the National Union of Journalists is holding its annual general meeting a fortnight today. Its current post-holders are: Chair: Joyce McMillan, Vice-chair: Thom Dibdin, Secretary: Mark Fisher, Membership secretary: Andy Moore, Treasurer: Joyce McMillan, Training: Kay Smith, Edinburgh Trade Union Council rep: Simon Barrow, Welfare: Helen Fowler, Student rep: Sam Bradley, Auditor 1: Simon Barrow and Auditor 2: Rob Edwards.

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THE afrorementioned Joyce McMillan makes a powerful case – as always – in her regular Friday column for The Scotsman that public debate these days barely includes a left-wing perspective.

It follows the uproar greeted an edition last week of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

It was guest-edited by the musician, artist and writer, PJ Harvey.

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STAYING with The Scotsman, columnist, Juliet Dunlop, begins her most recent article: “I am an analogue woman in a digital age.”

Writing on Friday, the former STV News presenter pinpoints the ten gadgets she thinks are the most endangered this year.

No.1 is alarm clocks.

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STARK warning. Writes Richard O’Hare, a board member of the Institute of Directors (Scotland), a cable dropped across the North Sea, between Scotland and Amsterdam, would cost a fraction of the potential billions of pounds lost in Scotland were there to be a failure in the current set-up.

The topic? Scotland’s broadband connectivity to the rest of the world, which he says – in The Herald, on Friday – is singularly routed via London.

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SEEN anything you think readers of should be made aware of? Then just send the weblink to and we’ll do the rest. All suggestions gratefully received. We’re back at noon tomorrow.

PS Your Noon Briefing is a new venture for We are no longer going to report news, story-by-story. Instead, we are going to find content we hope will be useful, in the belief it will prove to be a more comprehensive service.