Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 15:52 UK

Surprise at Sunday Times in Scotland move

By Jamie McIvor
BBC Scotland correspondent

newspaper printing
The Sunday Times will scale back its Scottish resources

News of the scale of the cuts at The Sunday Times in Scotland came as a surprise to journalists at the country's biggest-selling Sunday broadsheet newspaper.

For about 20 years, readers of The Sunday Times north of the border have enjoyed a distinct edition.

It combines the bulk of the content from the main UK edition with Scottish news, sport, business coverage and features.

Now most of that is set to go.

The crisis facing the indigenous Scottish press is well documented.

Papers like The Herald and The Scotsman have faced big falls in sales and advertising revenue.

UK-wide papers like The Sunday Times have not been immune to these problems but their position seemed stronger - especially as their Scottish operations have often been highly efficient, adding value to the stories generated by their colleagues south of the border.

'Spectacular success'

The Sunday Times was the first UK Sunday broadsheet to start producing a tailored Scottish edition.

It was a response to the launch of Scotland on Sunday in 1988. Before that, no broadsheet Sunday newspaper covered Scotland in depth, apart from the Sunday Standard published in the early 80s.

Cutting most of the Scottish journalists will save the paper money. The question is whether it will also cost them sales.

Owners News International appear to believe that most of the paper's readers will stay loyal, even with less Scottish content.

But some may turn instead to the Sunday Herald or Scotland on Sunday for Scottish news, giving these indigenous titles a badly needed shot in the arm.

Indeed a real question for all the UK-wide papers which produce Scottish editions is whether the extra time, effort and cost is worth it - or whether the main UK edition might sell as many copies in Scotland.

Some, like the Scottish Daily Mail, have been spectacular success stories. Others, like the Daily Mirror, abandoned doing separate editions.

The Scottish editions of The Times on weekdays and the Daily Telegraph sell between 20 and 25,000 copies despite having distinguished Scottish journalists on their payroll.



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Scottish Sunday Times cuts staff
12 May 10 |  Scotland

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