The Isle of Bute is to get a new weekly newspaper that will print its first edition on the day The Buteman, which has served the Scottish Island for 165 years, prints its last.
Argyll Media, publishers of the Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard, founded in 1871, will launch the Isle of Bute News on Friday, 21 June.
The same day JPI Media (formerly Johnston Press) will publish the final edition of The Buteman after announcing its closure earlier this month.
The paper’s circulation is understood to have dropped by 80 per cent in six years to below 550 copies.
The Isle of Bute News will be produced and edited from Argyll Media’s office in Dunoon on the Cowal Peninsula, which connects to Bute by ferry.
It will share the Dunoon Observer’s four-strong editorial team, including editor Gordon Neish who will oversee both titles.
The new title will have change pages with the Dunoon Observer and some pages of exclusive content for the island and nearby Cowal. Reporter Andrew Revill will cover Bute for the paper.
Neish said: “We are all sorry to see the Buteman will no longer be published, as the people of Bute deserve a newspaper to be their voice, and to keep them informed of what is going on, both on and around the island.
“I have thought for some time that as Bute and Cowal have so much in common, such as a council area committee, health board – and even sports teams, that a newspaper covering both areas would be ideal…
“Bute readers can look forward to us asking, on their behalf, important questions of public and private bodies so they can be held to account for actions which affect us all. I see that very much as the main job of a local newspaper, and the Isle of Bute News will be no different.
He said his team were on Bute on Friday to “spread the word” about the new title and received a “very positive” response from readers and advertisers.
“I appreciate there will be a bit of a honeymoon period, but my job is to keep island news flowing to make the Isle of Bute News a must-buy on a Friday morning,” he added.
Argyll Media managing director Peter Laidlaw said the launch of the Isle of Bute News was an important step in maintaining a local newspaper presence on the island .
He said: “These are extremely challenging times for small titles, but we believe that with our base in Dunoon we are well positioned to expand our coverage in Bute and Argyll…
“We believe that investing in quality local journalism is a vital element to the future of all our titles along with efficient and innovative use of the latest technology.
“Clearly the ongoing support of the local community and businesses is a key factor as we strive to ensure a viable future for the Isle of Bute News.”
The Isle of Bute News news team can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01369 706854.
Argyll Media is part of Medquest Group which owns titles in south west Scotland.