View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

News UK proposes merger of Scottish Times and Sunday Times into seven-day operation

A legal obligation for The Times and Sunday Times to remain separate was removed last year.

By Bron Maher

News UK is proposing to make The Times Scotland and Sunday Times Scotland a single seven-day operation.

In February last year, then-culture secretary Nadine Dorries formally released News UK from its legal requirement, in place since Rupert Murdoch acquired the titles in 1981, to keep The Times and Sunday Times separate.

The main Times and Sunday Times newsrooms currently share certain desks, including travel, property and sport, and have journalists that work across both titles. However, the move to a seven-day operation in Scotland could mark the biggest merger of the two to date.

A spokesperson for Times Media said: “We are currently talking to The Times Scotland and The Sunday Times Scotland editorial teams about creating a seven-day operation, producing a richer and more valuable package for subscribers and allowing the best of the journalism within the team to be published at the most appropriate moments across the week for our readers and subscribers.”

The spokesperson declined to comment on any potential editorial job losses, but a consultation is underway.

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

At present, The Times Scotland and Sunday Times Scotland have two separate editors – Magnus Llewellin and Jason Allardyce, respectively. It is unclear whether the two will have to compete for the top role in the new seven-day operation.

Content from our partners
How PA Media is helping newspapers make the digital transition
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution

Llewellin joined The Times as Scottish editor in May 2016 as part of the title’s “determination to expand in Scotland”, while Allardyce has led the Sunday Times Scotland since 2012.

The Times titles have kept their ABC circulation data private since March 2020, but the last data published shows that of The Times’s circulation of 365,880, 8% was in Scotland. Some 7% of The Sunday Times’ circulation of 647,622 came from Scotland.

The Times and Sunday Times have been under the same ownership since the 1960s, under Lord Thomson. Margaret Thatcher’s government opted not to refer Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of the papers to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on the condition that they be retained as separate, editorially independent entities.

News UK appointed Sunday Times deputy editor Ben Taylor as the paper’s editor last month following Emma Tucker’s departure to edit fellow Murdoch property The Wall Street Journal. Times editor Tony Gallagher took up his role in September following the departure of long-time editor John Witherow.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network