Pro-SNP Standard folds

By Hamish Mackay

Scotland’s new pro-independence newspaper, the Scottish Standard,
has folded after only seven issues with the loss of 10 journalistic
jobs.

Monday’s surprise announcement came a day after founder and owner
Derek Carstairs proclaimed that its future was secure “ad infinitum”.

However, despite his bravado, behind the scenes it was a different story.

Business
editor Nick Bibby had been made redundant and editor Alex MacLeod, 55,
a veteran executive of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, took a
voluntary pay cut.

MacLeod told the Sunday Herald: “We have been
covering good stories and people who read the paper come and buy it.
The problem is that not enough people know about it.”

However, advertising revenues were very low and the print run dropped from 40,000 to around 15,000.

The closure means the loss of around 30 jobs at the Standard’s Paisley base.

The
48-page mid-market colour tabloid launched on 9 March. It firmly backed
the Scottish National Party, and commentators are surprised it was not
kept afloat until after the election.

SNP leader Alex Salmond
said: “I did everything I could to help the paper, including writing
for it and subscribing to it, but to start a new newspaper needs a big
marketing budget and promotion.”

Sales of the 70p title never rose above 10,000 and subscriptions were reported to be as low as 40.

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