All the news that’s fit to print. Somewhere. Maybe even online…

I COULDN'T help but be interested in the new Beta site being run by The Herald & Sunday Herald under the banner

Not just because I'd previously mentioned the opportunities that I thought it could bring with some vibrant design and clever, user friendly ideas.

But because since that post back in April, it all seemed to have gone quiet.

The latest version seems to have lost some of the verve of the trailer advert. It doesn't seem as confident as it might have been.

iStock-esque images aside it seems, well, more muted. More of a hybrid that it had been suggesting before.

Almost as if it was part of something else, another plan.

My theory, for what it's worth, is the long rumoured death of the Sunday Herald as a paper.

After all in June, it's circulation barely managed 38,500.

Back in November it axed deliveries to London - a sure sign of trouble.

And if the world's oldest newspaper – The Observer – is left facing oblivion in its current form, would it not be fair to suggest one of Scotland's youngest may be subject to similar pressures.

Like becoming an online only edition, for instance.

Something that may sit very well on a brand new website?

Of course such idle speculation could ordinarily raise a smile from their rivals over at the Scotland on Sunday.

Yet while staff of the pedigree of former news editor Peter Laing who has left to become a teacher and home affairs corr Mike Howie who is off traveling continue to leave amid the restructuring, it is probably hard to do so just yet.

Not least when you look again at another rumour doing the rounds, one firsblogged here back in February suggesting that printing of SoS would be switched from its own presses at Newhaven in Edinburgh to Trinity Mirror in Cardonald, Glasgow.

No one at the time would confirm nor, interestingly, deny such a move was on the cards.

Now those same sources who flagged it up in Edinburgh the first time are suggesting not only is it still likely, but imminent, perhaps even later this month.

And if so what knock on effect for the printers there, and just how much has Trinity Mirror reduced the print runs of the Sunday Mail, Sunday Mirror and People titles in Scotland to accommodate such a move?

The Sunday Mail remains miles ahead of the cut-price News of the World, but that's how the erosion of the Daily Record's dominance against the Sun began. 

Will Trinity have learned it's lessons?

Or is there a more fundamental question to be asked by us all. Have newspaper readers simply got bored of, well, newspapers?

And if so, does that mean an online Sunday Herald might not be such a bad thing after all?

Personally, I look forward to seeing what heraldscotland can deliver.

The site, even in its current form, is light years ahead of what it has now in terms of ease of use.

As for the content, that will come with the tweaking.

Whether it will be enough to attract the masses is something else altogether, whatever the day.

Categories: Launches

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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