Business 7 Analysis
Insider Media said the newspaper will be targeting “work hard, play hard, ambitious young business professionals” while simultaneously being a must-read for senior executives and decision makers in key organisations across Scotland.
The launch of a business sector weekly is the first time this sector has been targeted since the folding of Business AM in 2002. Hollinshead told The Drum he was not put off the venture by the collapse of Business AM, pointing out that Business 7 was based on a different concept.
“It is a completely different publishing business model. Business AM relied on paid for subscription. Business 7 is free,” he said.
Mark Hollinshead’s former team at the Daily Record – which included John Penman, now of the Sunday Times, Jim Chisholm and Alasdair Nimmo – were the men behind the ill-starred Business AM. The daily tabloid was originally dummied and trialled as a weekly, but ultimately did not roll out for several months due to external upheavals at the Trinity Mirror Group. It was the partnership with Swedish media giant Bonnier that allowed the paper to be launched in September 2000.
The new Business 7 revisits the weekly business freesheet concept that was explored and dropped in favour of a daily.
Hollinshead added that Business 7 will be partnered by a significant online presence, with a dedicated website updating daily to complement the weekly print edition.
“There will be a symbiotic commercial relationship. It will be highly interactive and state of the art with regard to Scottish Business news and the media and marketing community,” he told the Drum.
The website promises a business blog and a comprehensive range of interactive features to complement Business7 in print.
The new title, which will be the first free business title in the Trinity Mirror portfolio, will be headed up by Alasdair Northrop as editor-in-chief and Jonathan Russell as editor. Erikka Askeland will be Business 7’s Chief Reporter, having formerly been deputy editor of Insider Magazine.
Giles Brooksbank, of Media PR specialists Feather Brooksbank said the new title faced a number of challenges if it was to be able to sustain itself in the long term, given the limited advertising revenues available in such a niche field.
“Clearly people think there are general business opportunities out there, but whether a 20,000 controlled circulation is sustainable in the long term, we will have to wait and see,” he said.
“I don’t know how much money they are going to throw at it, which will also be an important factor.”
However, Brooksbank believes the Business 7 will be at an advantage, given that it is backed by the Trinity Mirror Group, although the difficulties in securing sustainable advertising revenue will remain a stiff challenge.
“The fact that it is being run by Trinity Mirror, which already has Scottish Business Insider means they have the knowledge and have the data to do this type of title,” he added.
“That said, I think they will find it tough. If they are looking for £1,000 per page, irrespective of whether they do 5000 or 10,000, then it could be tough to find the advertisers,”
“There are obviously the banks and the accountancy type businesses that they will be going for, but then again, not that many.”
Alasdair Northrop, editor of Insider Magazine has been appointed as editor-in-chief of Business 7, and he is optimistic about the imminent launch of the new title.
“In Scotland we have an extremely dynamic business community as recorded each year at our ‘Deals & Dealmakers’, Scottish PLC, and ‘Corporate Elite’ award ceremonies,” he said.
“The key objective behind the launch of Business7 and Business7.co.uk is to reflect that dynamism through publishing highly relevant and appealing print plus online products to better serve this fast moving, quick thinking, high spending and very influential audience.”
Hollinshead added “The combination of our market leading monthly magazine, our quintet of blue chip branded Insider business events, together with Business7.co.uk and our new weekly business newspaper will further develop and strengthen our position in this key market segment.”
Sly Bailey, chief executive of Trinity Mirror said: “The launch of Business7 and Business7.co.uk is a great new initiative and a further example of our strategy to develop a multi-platform business with an objective to extend both our audience and geographic reach.”
Despite the fate of Business AM 5 years ago, Brooksbank welcomes the launch of Business 7, and is optimistic that it may sustain itself in the longer term.
“You always greet these types of announcements with hope,” he said.
“When a publisher makes a decision to launch something like this it gives us more choice and opportunities, and that cannot be dismissed.
“Some advertisers do like to be in at ground level with these things, so it might work.”
Confirmation of the launch date is expected shortly.