The Glasgow Evening Times is believed to be planning a cut-price late afternoon edition, in a bid to see off the threat of two new afternoon editions being brought out by the Daily Record.
The Trinity Mirror-owned Record revealed this week that it is to take the already frenetic competition in the Scottish newspaper market to a new level, by launching two new paid-for afternoon editions. They are to be based in Scotland's two major population centres and named Daily Record Glasgow PM and Daily Record Edinburgh PM.
The move comes a week after ABC figures revealed that, in July, the Daily Record was overtaken on sales in Scotland by the Scottish Sun for the first time in its history — with The Sun selling an average of 393,953 daily copies compared with the Daily Record's 384,378. The Scottish Sun's sales surge has been fuelled by a price cut to 10p.
The Newsquest-owned Evening Times currently puts its first edition on sale at midday. The new later edition is understood to be going on sale in supermarkets for 15p, as opposed to the normal price of 35p.
The new Daily Record editions are to go on sale from 3pm and will require 20 to 25 extra journalists to produce.
The NUJ, which has previously had a fairly rocky relationship with Trinity Mirror north of the border, this week welcomed the publisher's actions.
NUJ Scotland organiser Paul Holleran said: "It's 25 new jobs and it's an expansion of newspapers in Glasgow and Edinburgh, with a particular emphasis on local news.
"It creates a bit of competition for Johnston Press in Edinburgh, and should encourage them to put more resources into the Evening News. The same goes for Newsquest with the Evening Times in Glasgow. At a time when there are budget restrictions in these places, we think management have been brave."
According to Trinity Mirror, the new afternoon editions will be on sale at 1,000 retail outlets. They will also be available at approximately 50 new fixed-site and "roving" sales people employed to target commuters.
Daily Record editor Bruce Waddell said: "This is the first in a series of exciting new developments for the Record. Newspaper publishing is moving at the fastest pace ever, and we have to adapt our newspapers to follow the reader wherever they may be.
"Daily Record PM is part of the evolution of the Daily Record, which already publishes a late-night edition, and also editions for England, Ireland and the Mediterranean."
The launch is being headed up by Record deputy editor Murray Foote and Jonathan Russell — a former editor of the Paisley Daily Express and Scottish Daily Mirror. In 2005, Russell launched his own short-lived weekly newspaper in Glasgow, the Southside Mail.
Daily Record managing director Mark Hollinshead said: "The aim is to extend the Daily Record's reach and influence to a wider audience in order to develop the newspaper's appeal.
"All advertising carried in the main national edition will also be carried in PM. At the same time, we will be launching localised new advertising platforms.
"While the new editions will very much possess the personality, values and attitude of the main Daily Record edition, the content will be fresh, local and relevant to life in Scotland's two biggest cities."
Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey said: "This move is everything you would expect of the pugnacious Daily Record team — bold, aggressive and innovative.
"Our newspapers face many challenges, but as the launch of Daily Record PM demonstrates, we do not intend to shrink from them."
Former News International Scotland executive turned PR man Jack Irvine said he thought the new editions spelled bad news for the respective papers.
He said: "The cheaper later editions are just going to stop people buying their own papers — I think the result will be mutually assured destruction, it reeks of desperation."