Former Scotsman chief, Hardy, dies

A FORMER deputy chair of Scotsman Publications, has died, at the age of 80.

Described by The Guardian as a ‘veteran newspaper executive’ and by the Daily Mail as ‘one of the most influential figures in modern newspaper management’, Bert Hardy was a key a figure in the move of Scotsman Publications from its former HQ in Edinburgh’s North Bridge to its current home near the Scottish Parliament.

His CV includes hugely-influential roles at the Sun and the Evening Standard.

Says The Scotsman today: “Even after his formal retirement, approaching 70 but still considered one of the most penetrating analysts of the newspaper industry, Hardy was hired by the billionaire brothers, David and Frederick Barclay, in 1995 to help them run the interests of their Press Holdings Group, notably The Scotsman, the Edinburgh Evening News, Scotland on Sunday, the planned Sunday Business and the struggling European.

“After advising the brothers to cut their losses on the European – which did not go down well with Andrew Neil, Press Holdings Group’s then editor-in-chief – Hardy remained a huge influence on Scotsman Publications.

“Officially deputy chairman, he helped oversee the move from this paper’s old headquarters on Edinburgh’s North Bridge to the state-of-the-art offices on Holyrood Road and, in his time, Scotland on Sunday reached a record circulation of over 134,000 copies.

“He also encouraged The Scotsman to become involved in sponsorship of his beloved horse racing, leading the paper’s campaign to ensure appropriate insurance for jockeys. He left the group in 1999 after developing a life-threatening brain tumour which was later removed.”