Johnston Press chief reveals “ScotsmanTV” plans

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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JOHNSTON Press, owner of the Scotsman titles, is exploring plans to launch TV stations within its newspaper titles, its chief executive declared on Tuesday.

Ashley Highfield said he was studying plans for newspaper journalists to shoot video to be made available online to readers in a bid to boost traffic on websites across the group’s titles.

“By the end of this summer, we will have a different culture of journalists equipped with mobile technology,” he told a Scotsman conference on the future of the media. “We are going to launch a bunch of TV channels,” he added. He confirmed afterwards that those plans could include a “ScotsmanTV” model.

Mr Highfield, a former executive at Microsoft and BBC, told the conference that now was “the most exciting and maybe the most scary time to be in the business”.

But he downplayed fears that print media was facing terminal decline. Despite audiences moving steadily online, he argued that the group “will still be printing newspapers in twenty years time.”

His comments come with Johnston Press titles having undergone a major restructuring since Mr Highfield’s appointment last year, which has seen hundreds of job cuts, but an increase in its share price, which now stands at 15p, from lows of 5p last year