THE Caledonian Mercury has signed Pat Kane as a columnist who immediately said he was looking forward to "engaging" with its online readership.
Noted for his commentary on politics, arts and technology, the CalMerc team were said to have been delighted by the coup.
Kane, in a statement, said: "In a week where two giant voices in Scottish culture have been silenced, it seems appropriate to scramble up on their shoulders and get back into the fray about the future of this country.
"I'm looking forward to engaging with the CalMerc readership, in an exciting time for this nation."
Editor Stewart Kirkpatrick, who is widely expected to announce other new names in the coming months, said Kane's signing would add to the strength of his product.
He said: "Pat's a huge name and the Caley Merc team are delighted he has agreed to write for us. His incision and depth will be enormous strengths for the paper."
The Caledonian Mercury launched in January with writers working on an innovative revenue sharing concept.
It has grown its Facebook community to more than 1800 and said it actual visitor numbers to main site had exceeded expectations.
The 2010 Newspaper Awards Highly Commended it in the Best Digital Services Category.
Kirkpatrick was named Multi-Media Publisher of the Years by the NUJ Regional Press Awards in June.
Kane was formerly Rector at University of Glasgow and frontman of band Hue and Cry.
He has previously carried out work for BBC Radio Scotland, Channel 4, BBC 2 and came third in the Sony Awards for his radio series Kane Over America.