SMG puts papers up for sale

Future of The Herald in question. Words: Ruth Hedges

ith a spare E200m you could be the proud owner of three w newspapers. 1 1 magazines and an internet site. Any takers? With the recent announcement of Scottish Media Group's sell-oft of its publishing division. The Herald. The Sunday Herald and The Evening Times are. among others. on the market. SMG. which also owns Virgin Radio. Scottish TV and the Grampian ITV franchise. has debts of over EAOOm and intends to concentrate on 'national positions in the faster growing media sectors‘.

Havmg successfully developed into what is now commonly thought to be the strongest voice in Scottish newspapers. The Hera/d and its sister publication on Sunday make a highly attractive proposition. But there are concerns over who will step in to sign the fat cheque.

Names mooted include private equity groups CinVen and Candover. and newspaper groups such as owners of The Daily Mail, The Guardian and most controversially. The Scotsman. But in a pointed editorial following SMG's announcement. The Herald expressed its deep unease with a bid from its rival: 'A healthy print media reduires a plurality of ownership. We trust the COmpetition Commission will continue to rule against market dominance by any one owner.’

With The Scotsman's moves to the right under the helm of Andrew Neil. The Herald has filled the gap and established a distinctive identity. Keith Bruce. arts editor on The Herald told The List he was confident the papers would continue to thrive: ‘We feel that the paper is stronger than the ownership.‘

I The sudden death of Arnold Kemp deprives Scottish jOurnalism of the most inspiring and admirable editor of recent generations. It is particularly sad to have lost him just when The Herald (which he edited from 1981 to 1994) needs strong campaigners to defend its independence. Arnold helped launch the careers of many young jOurnalists. but The List owes him special thanks for his support in its chaotic. early years. While some newspapers made life difficult for The List. Arnold. on hearing of the latest crisis. would call to invite us to lunch and. with delightful wit and anecdotes. w0uld offer encouragement and excellent advice which helped The List weather many storms. (Robin Hodge)

Sheridan slams M74

MSP says scheme is ‘wasteful use of public money’. Words: Ruth Hedges

ommy Sheridan. leader of the Scottish Socialist I Party has condemned the Scottish Executive for backing a proposed extension of the M74 into Glasgow. Sheridan told The List: ‘The M74 is the most wasteful use of public money. It will be the most .. expensive piece of road in Scotland. and if the money if » was deployed instead into public transpOrt schemes like a light rail network for Glasgow. then we c0uld not only tackle congestion. but improve our environment through sustainable transpOrt options.‘

The extenSion will cost an estimated E250m. the most expenswe single transpOrt project Scotland has seen. And although campaigning groups have given a generally positive response to the promised increases in other areas of public investment in the executive's latest spending review. they are disappointed that it is determined to press ahead with its M74 plans.

Jomt Action Against M74 (JAM74) insists the project is futile. A spokesman said: 'A study concluded that in 2010 the road network in Glasgow will be more congested than it is Currently. Then you're talking about the impact of pollution and noise. We Will continue to oppose this ludicrous project.‘

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Spanky returns for a ore-Snatch warm up.

Blak Magik. A mixed bag of soul from Ms Simmone Black.

21 Fireone presents Stuart Duncan & Craig (3.

22 Mixin’ Dickson. Funk. soul and disco from the Friscodisco backroom boy.

25 Takin’ it over party. With HoffBeats and Blak Magik Djs. Tickets available at the bar.

26 A funked up mix from our inhouse Dds.

27 Blak Magik. A mixed bag of soul from Ms Simmone Black.

28 Bob Cairns delights with nu-jazz n' broken beats.

Sun 29 Jak gets all fried up for Sunday brunch.


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