Scotsman debut as tabloid proves instant success

The Scotsman: sale up 15 per cent

The Scotsman is the latest broadsheet to achieve a circulation boost by switching to a tabloid format.

Only the Saturday edition of the paper has been changed, and according to estimates at the paper, circulation for the first compact Saturday Scotsman at the weekend was up 15.5 per cent year-on-year.

The new format Saturday paper claims to offer readers the same level of content as in the broadsheet.

Editor Iain Martin invited readers to comment on the switch via the internet, an in-paper questionnaire and using a free phone number.

He said: “It’s been prompted by what our research has been telling us for the past couple of years. A particular type of reader, often but not always women, want their paper in a more convenient and movable form.

“With The Independent and The Times launching compact versions, we thought it was time for an indigenous Scottish publisher to innovate and try this first. We are very encouraged with the results from Saturday and the feedback has been pretty good.”

The Scotsman was launched in 1817 as a weekly tabloid and has a circulation of 70,744.

Scotland on Sunday bucked the overall trend to achieve year-on-year circulation growth for the six months to the end of 2003.

Editor John McLellan said the performance (up 1 per cent to 83,229) was due to a “combination of strong editorial and good marketing”. He added: “In 2003 we were able to take the marketing campaign up to a level that was similar to our competitors.”

McLellan said the year-on-year sales growth had continued in January.

A table in last week’s Press Gazette mistakenly stated that Scotland on Sunday sales were down one per cent year-on-year.

By Dominic Ponsford

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