Changes pay off for Evening News

Evening News: aggressive approach to stories, more campaigns and news spreads

The Edinburgh Evening News is one of just five evening or daily titles to show overall year-on-year circulation growth, and is laying claim to being Britain’s best-performing newspaper.

Its Monday to Friday sale is up a comparatively huge 1.5 per cent, and with readership up 40 per cent in the last National Readership Survey figures, editor Ian Stewart is rightly proud of his team’s achievement – particularly as a press fire caused major disruption in March which took about nine months to recover from.

Stewart attributes the rise to a number of changes. He brought edition times forward by an hour so that the first edition is off stone at 9am and the second at noon.

A third edition is available if there is a big breaking story at 3pm – this was used when the Evening News became the first paper to name and shame TV star John Leslie after he was inadvertently “outed” on Five.

Stewart has also introduced a daily listings page called the Daily Plan-it, reshuffled the book to break up the news pages with features spreads further up, created the ability to do live true spreads, and really hit promotions.

The paper also championed several campaigns, including one against overenthusiastic traffic wardens called Ticket Stick it!

“We’ve made a conscious decision to be more aggressive in the way we’ve tackled stories, particularly where we’re being critical of councils or of city institutions,” said Stewart.

“What’s particularly encouraging is that the marketing and promotion that the company put in over the first six months of last year meant that more people were picking up the paper – and they’ve continued to pick it up in the second six months because they liked what they were getting.”

Stewart believes the Evening News’s upward trend will continue. His predictions for January – not yet audited – show a 2.3 per cent increase year on year.

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