Established evenings in fight against new Record PM editions

Despite the launch of cut-price Daily Record afternoon editions in Glasgow and Edinburgh on Monday, the established evening papers in both cities claim to have put on sales.

The editor of the Edinburgh Evening News claims its sale was 1.5 per cent up on Monday, compared with the week before. And the Glasgow Evening Times claimed it was 10,000 copies up on normal.

The Record's 15p afternoon editions Glasgow PM and Edinburgh PM went on sale at more than 1,000 retail outlets and via 50 mobile salespeople from 3pm.

The radical sales-boosting tactic comes after the price war between the Record and The Scottish Sun, which in July resulted in the Record losing its position as Scotland's top seller.

The 10p Sun is currently 9,575 copies a day ahead of the Record in Scotland, with an audited circulation of 393,953.

According to parent company Trinity Mirror, some 20 journalists have been recruited to produce the Record's afternoon editions.

The Newsquest-owned Evening Times in Glasgow responded to the expected threat three weeks ago by cutting the price of its third, and final, 2.30pm edition from 35p to 15p.

On Monday, the paper ran to 92 pages, which included 28-pages of Great North Run results and a £5,000 bingo competition. It claims that the cut-price final edition has so far boosted sales by an average of 3,000 a day on an ABC figure of 80,705.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh, the Evening News has maintained the 35p cover price of its second and final midday edition.

But so far it claims to have been untouched by the launch of Edinburgh PM. It has an ABC of 56,135.

Editor John McLellan said he estimates sales of Edinburgh PM on Monday were 2,000, and that the Record had lost about the same figure from its morning sale.

He said: "I think the Record itself will suffer the biggest harm from this, it will completely destroy the brand values of the Daily Record, which goes from being a Scottish national morning newspaper to a local evening newspaper — and not a very good one at that. It doesn't have the values of an evening newspaper and it doesn't have the values of the Daily Record. They have stories running as page leads which would not make a single column in the Record.

"From their point of view, I think it's a very badly thought out strategy, but now they are committed they will throw the kitchen sink at it.

"I'm just glad I'm not a Trinity Mirror shareholder. They are launching an Edinburgh newspaper, so on day one they splash on the death of Crocodile Dundee… If it was about content we would have nothing to worry about, but it's about price, not content… They got a beating from the big boys and now they are behaving like a classic playground bully and taking us on.

"This is a last desperate throw of the dice from a management that has been beaten by a cut-price Sun."

At the Daily Record, managing director Mark Hollinshead described this week's activity as "exciting".

He said: "It is a pioneering and bold move, everything you would expect of Scotland's biggest-selling Scottish daily newspaper. But this is only the first in a number of new initiatives and developments we have planned."

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