Evening Times gets ready for revamp

For years it has been the Life & Soul of Glasgow.

Vendors have been a familiar sight on street corners offering the latest editions of the Evening Times come rain, hail or shine – and once upon a time it was almost always first to break the latest big news to do with the Old Firm.

Today it remains one of the largest selling evening titles in the UK, with a sales figure of around 80,000 readers including its cut price final edition.

And in March last year it was named Regional Newspaper of the Year by the Newspaper Society.

Not an easy task when you consider editor Donald Martin and his team have faced an aggressive rival in the Daily Record’s PM freebie title.

They’ve also faced some unhelpful industrial unrest in months gone by, but by in large have come through a year riddled with potential potholes not just relatively unscathed, but potentially stronger.

And rather than rest on past success, it too is looking at the future, with big plans for its online identity due to be unveiled soon.

The website is about to undergo some major surgery with a complete redesign and more input from staff on the main newspaper towards its breaking news coverage which has already been improving steadily.

Other key developments are being planned, but for a local evening paper like the Evening Times caught in the midst of a fierce battle for advertising and readers, one of the key components to its success will be engaging an already loyal readership fully online.

To that end they are planning a major roll out of enhanced community news coverage, taking an already focussed newspaper into the very centre of its heartland, one would guess with dedicated pages for specific areas and categories.

This should help generate the Holy Grail of encouraging greater user generated activity sought by advertisers, not to mention strengthening its relationship with its readership, and build upon the good foundations which are already in place.

To this end, tasked with ensuring the success of the new venture is Graeme Smith, currently assistant editor and web producer.

Graeme, a former colleague of mine from his days on the Daily Record newsdesk, has a strong pedigree in news and has steadily worked through the ranks at the Evening Times to become a vital and respected cog in the machine.

It is a mark of its management’s commitment to the project that they have chosen a key member of their management team to oversee the project, no doubt offering advice and support to Online Editor Sam Clarke, as the project heads towards conclusion, as well as driving fresh ideas.

This month they also advertised for a web journalist for the project, asking: “Are you constantly frustrated by the way traditional media fail to ‘get’ the web?”

And in this day of cutbacks, the £28k salary accompanying the job wasn’t the worst to be seen, with some national tabloids still starting new recruits on less.

The ‘Evening Times’ they are a-changing, that’s for sure.

Categories: Launches

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