Scotland’s Sunday Herald has been granted a stay of execution amid a readership slump after its publishers elected to merge its staff with the better performing Glasgow Herald rather than pull the plug completely.
The decision by Newsquest to focus dwindling resources on weekday output raises the possibility of both titles being formally merged, with the Sunday Herald rebadged as The Herald on Sunday while adopting an equivalent editorial line to its Monday to Friday stablemate.
Such a move would have some political ramifications after the Sunday Herald broke ranks to back Scottish independence, even as its stablemate argued for maintenance of the union.
The tabloid-style paper enjoyed a circulation boost around the vote period but has since slipped back to such an extent that rumours persist that Newsquest may yet scrap the title entirely, focusing its efforts instead on The National, whose readers have proven to be more loyal, by extending it to a seven-day print run.
The National operates on a smaller budget with fewer staff however and would require significant investment were its publishing rate to be increased. The Sunday Herald has battled budgetary constraints of its own but still wields a great deal of editorial clout thanks to its exclusive investigations.
The Sunday Herald has suffered a number of high-profile departures however including editor Neil Mackay who quit citing ill-health and news editor and columnist Angela Haggerty who resigned after just three months following online ‘threats and abuse’.