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New Sunday Scottish titles Sunday National and Herald on Sunday publish first editions

By Charlotte Tobitt

Newsquest launched two new Sunday newspapers in Scotland this weekend following the closure of the Sunday Herald after 19 years.

The Herald on Sunday and the Sunday National published their first editions yesterday, both priced at £1.90.

The Sunday Herald was the first newspaper to publicly back Scottish independence ahead of the 2014 referendum.

The move gave it a brief circulation boost of 35 per cent year-on-year for the six months to December 2014 at 32,204 copies.

However the latest ABC figures showed the Sunday Herald’s circulation had most recently fallen 18 per cent year-on-year to 16,345.

It published a farewell souvenir edition on 2 September featuring its most iconic front pages and comment articles looking back on the newspaper’s history.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote in the newspaper that it had added a “distinctive voice to Scotland’s national life”.

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The two new newspapers were launched in an apparent aim to consolidate the Herald’s pro-unionist stance, in contrast to the pro-independence National newspaper.

The Herald and National teams are understood to have become seven-day operations.

Sturgeon also appeared in the first Sunday National yesterday, in its “Seven Days” section inherited from the Sunday Herald.

“We hope the section you are reading today lives up to the legacy of its predecessor,” an editorial said yesterday.

The Sunday National also features the “brave and bold” journalism of foreign correspondent David Pratt, who it said was “one of the highlights of the Sunday Herald every week”.

Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop tweeted: “Good to see David Pratt in the new Sunday National telling the world’s stories needing to be told.”

The newspaper said it “may not be perfect” but that it had listened to the views of National readers and was “proud of what we’ve achieved in a relatively short period of time”.

“We hope you’ll agree that the Sunday National combines the best of the Sunday Herald and the daily National, who have been the only two independence-supporting newspapers in Scotland since the referendum,” it added.

“The Sunday Herald may have gone but The National and the Sunday National will continue to represent the movement which grew around the Yes campaign and the growing number of people who agree that independence offers the best prospects for Scotland’s future.”

The Herald on Sunday launched with a “cool list” of 100 movers and shakers and an investigation into ferry services to the Scottish islands.

Both newspapers feature a new culture magazine called Scottish Life, featuring names familiar with Sunday Herald readers such as restaurant and food critic Joanna Blythman.

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