Former Scotsman reporter Frank O'Donnell appointed title's new editor

A former reporter on The Scotsman has been appointed the 200-year-old title’s new editor.

Director of digital content Frank O’Donnell takes over as editorial director from Ian Stewart, who left in March, at publisher Johnston Press.

As well as taking the reigns at The Scotsman, O’Donnell will also helm its sister titles the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday.

His role will include working to grow the i newspaper in Scotland and collaborating with the editors of Johnston Press’ 28 Scottish weekly titles.

O’Donnell began his career as a reporter with the Carrick Gazette, later moving to the Dundee Press Agency. He joined The Scotsman in 2000, working as a reporter and news editor before being appointed assistant editor of the title in 2010.

In 2012 he was made editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, staying in the role for three years. He begins his new role on 18 April.

Johnston Press editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford said O’Donnell had emerged from a “very strong field of candidates – both internal and external”.

“Frank will lead the three titles through what is certain to be one of the most important times in Scotland’s history and will be in charge of positioning The Scotsman to be the leading media voice during this period,” he said.

“He has set out a first class vision to develop The Scotsman in print, build its brand, develop the team and lead the digital transformation of the business.”

Edinburgh-born O’Donnell, 46, who will be The Scotsman’s 27th editor, said: “It is an enormous privilege to be at the helm of three great brands.

“The Scotsman is in its 200th year and has reported on every significant event in the country’s modern history. As we enter a period of further change, The Scotsman’s role as an independent and impartial voice in this debate will be more important than ever.

“Digitally, scotsman.com and edinburghnews.com have been strong platforms for many years. It is time to invest further focus and energy to take our online storytelling to a new level.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the newsroom and working with many of the most talented journalists in Scotland.”

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield added: “Frank’s appointment demonstrates [our] commitment to see the development of The Scotsman brand in all formats and, along with the i newspaper and our Scottish local titles, continue to grow our market share in Scotland”.

A year of celebrations to mark The Scotsman’s bicentennial started in January with a special souvenir edition, which included a letter of congratulations from The Queen.

Picture: Johnston Press

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