Broadsheet-to-compact switch for newspaper trio as relaunches begin today

THE Ayrshire local newspaper, the Carrick Gazette, is relaunching today, with a new look, as part of a wider revamping exercise that will see three of its sister titles switch from broadsheet to compact size.

The weekly title is part of the Tweeddale Press group, which is itself part of Johnston Press, publisher of The Scotsman.

And with the exception of a light-touch refreshing of the Hawick News, all the Tweeddale Press titles are being relaunched, part of an UK-wide Johnston Press initiative.

On Friday, it’s the turn of the Galloway Gazette. Then, next Thursday, it’s the turn of The Southern Reporter, the Berwickshire News and the Berwick-upon-Tweed-based Berwick Advertiser, with all three undergoing the switch from broadsheet to compact.

Finally, the Selkirk Weekender is being relaunched a week on Friday, the same day the Hawick News is published.

It’s understood the main production elements to each of the newspapers will be undertaken locally, with a production hub in Sheffield providing, in the main, supporting production.

The upcoming design changes, and also new editorial features, follow extensive in-paper and online surveys of readers.

Susan Windram, group editor, told “We are all very excited about the changes. As far as our current broadsheets titles are concerned, we believe the more modern compact size will make us ‘easier to pick up, harder to put down’.

“We realise it’s the end of an era; however, the move is not something we are undertaking lightly. It follows extensive research with the public, the majority of whom support the change.

“The new compact, which will also benefit from an extensive re-design, will be easier to handle and more suited to current lifestyles. However, the newspaper’s traditional values and unrivalled coverage of news, sport, information and advertising will not change.”