Oban Times launches first of 150th birthday supplements

THE 150th birthday celebrations of a leading Scottish weekly newspaper have begun in earnest, with the publication of the first of a series of commemorative supplements.

As reported by allmediascotland.com, The Oban Times this year celebrates its 150th anniversary and this week’s edition carries a supplement comprising, among other things, adverts from the first 25 years of the newspaper, letters to the editor from the same era and a narrative of the paper’s first 25 years, following its founding by an 18 year-old printer and bookseller, James Miller.

Further supplements are to appear once a month between now and the end of the year.

Says a statement issued by the paper’s publishers: “In addition to the anniversary supplements, The Oban Times last month began a stream of marketing activities including an event roadshow up and down the west coast, an online anniversary gift shop, a school logo competition, a special subscription offer and monthly online documentary films.

For the first five years of its life, The Oban Times was a monthly magazine until in 1866, when it became a four-page weekly broadsheet.

Following Miller’s untimely death in 1881, the Cameron family published the paper for almost 100 years. Current owners, the Bennett family, have managed the company for the past 28 years.

Today, The Oban Times is the biggest-selling weekly newspaper in the Highlands and one of the top ten best-selling weekly newspapers in Scotland. Its latest audited sales figure is an average circa 15,500, it has an estimated readership of 41,320 and it is distributed by over 1,000 newsagents every week.

Its publisher, Wyvex Media, operates four weekly newspapers in the west of Scotland (The Campbeltown Courier, Argyllshire Advertiser and Arran Banner, as well as The Oban Times), nine magazines (including Scottish Field, which itself is over 100 years old ) and various websites.