The Daily Record is to launch free evening titles in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee on 22 January.
The paper first launched two evening editions titled Record PM in Glasgow and Edinburgh for 15p, which was seen as a response to The Scottish Sun replacing the Record as Scotland’s top-selling newspaper at 393,953.
Associated Newspapers and News International could also pose competition for the Record, having both registered website addresses for Glasgow and Edinburgh versions of London’s free papers London Lite and thelondonpaper.
Daily Record managing director Mark Hollinshead said: ‘We are very aware and alert to competitive activity which may impact our own titles’ performance, albeit that we don’t let other organisations’ strategy dictate ours. ‘We identified this was an opportunity to grow our audience for advertisers.’Hollinshead was confident that launching the free would have little impact on the sales of the paid-for Record. He said: ‘It’s not an exact replica of the Record. It’s a very localised, slimmed-down version, but the fact it is distributed between the hours of 5 and 7pm with a very different front and back page. ‘We sell 98 per cent of our newspapers before 4.30pm and this is 15-25,000 copies in small identified urban areas. ‘We’re not like the Standard or Standard Lite, there are a good 10 hours after the dead Record appearing in the morning. ‘One of our objectives is to rejuvenate paid-for sale through direct marketing strategy, so if they like the taste they can have the main course the following morning.’Some of the 20 journalists taken on when the Glasgow and Edinburgh evening papers first launched will be redeployed to Aberdeen and Dundee offices.