November 25, 2014 Last Updated 7:34 am

The National, Newsquest’s new Scottish tabloid, sells out its 60K print run on first day of trial

New launch by the staff of the Sunday Herald is a result of the paper’s endorsement of the “yes” campaign for Scottish independence, and the resulting spike in circulation growth

Those who have been a part of a new newspaper or magazine launch know the excitement of that first issue, there is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing that first issue.

Yesterday, Newsquest’s Herald & Times Group, launched a new tabloid for Scotland called The National. The paper is the outgrowth of the Scottish independence referendum where Newsquest’s Sunday Herald was the only major paper to endorse the “yes” side – and as a result, saw an increase in readership.

TheNatl-websiteNewsquest is a Gannett subsidiary.

Now the company has launched a new tabloid newspaper that will have a five-day trial run. On its first day, Monday, it printed 60,000 copies, which the paper said were sold out quickly. Now the paper will increase its print run and see what happens.

“The Sunday Herald was the only mainstream newspaper in Scotland to support independence and throughout the referendum campaign it seemed to us that the lack of media support represented a serious democratic deficit in the country’s media,” the paper said on its still to be fully launched website.

“After the referendum many readers asked us to consider launching a daily, pro-independence newspaper… requests which we have answered by launching The National. It will be published five days a week, Monday to Friday.”

An online digital edition, a Flash flipbook, was also launched through PageSuite, priced at £0.50 per edition, or £1.50 for all five editions.

The original idea was to launch the tabloid with a press run of only 30,000, but at the last moment the paper decided to double that to 60K.

“We decided almost as we pressed the button to double that – in hindsight, a good decision,” Richard Walker, the Sunday Herald’s editor told MediaGuardian. “It is really gratifying that so many people responded to it even before they had seen it. We were getting digital subscriptions at a rate of about 20 a minute over the weekend, before the paper had even come out.”

“We recognise that launching a newspaper in 2014 is to some extent counter-intuitive but we consistently argue for the power of great journalism and informed opinion,” Tim Blott, Herald & Times Group managing director, said. “We will trial the new title in its proposed format for a week and if, as anticipated, it takes off, then it will become a new and dynamic fixture in Scottish publishing.”

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