AS reported as breaking news on Friday early evening, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday newspapers are looking to cut around 25 jobs – ideally through voluntary redundancy – following a merging of their productions into a ‘seven day operation’.
The proposed reorganisation includes changes to the arts coverage in the two papers, plus the appointment of Ian Stewart as editor of Scotland on Sunday and Tom Little as editor of sister title, the Edinburgh Evening News.
Little has been deputy editor of Scotland on Sunday, which saw its previous editor, Les Snowdon, leave for the Daily Mail in February. Stewart will remain deputy editor of The Scotsman.
Both Little and Stewart have been appointed deputy editors-in-chief. Kenny Farquharson, meanwhile, has been made deputy editor of Scotland on Sunday.
In a memo to staff, Michael Johnston, managing director of Scotsman Publications, said: “Following a detailed review, it is proposed to merge the content and editorial desk activities of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday in respect of news, features, sport, politics and business. Implementation of these changes would see The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday reporters working as one team across both titles and the creation of a single magazine unit.
“It is also our intention to cease publication of [the Saturday Scotsman] Critique and [Scotland on Sunday] Review magazines facilitated by moving content to The Scotsman and [SoS] Spectrum magazines and the main books of the respective titles.”
The proposals are all subject to consultation, including with the NUJ.
In another development, it has emerged that publishers, Johnston Press, are relocating their head office from elsewhere in Edinburgh into The Scotsman’s HQ near the Scottish Parliament, arguably quashing – at least for the foreseeable future – any speculation that the paper is about to be sold.
Added Johnston: “Discussions to merge content and editorial desk activities has commenced with the NUJ and the company has agreed to consider requests for voluntary redundancy and/or changes in existing working arrangements in an effort to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies.”
There are around 150 journalists at The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.