Scottish gaming desks are on the decline

Scottish gaming desks are on the decline

Gaming desks are set to shrink at three of Scotland’s biggest news outlets as cost-cutting continues across the UK industry.

A total of around eleven writers and editors appear to be leaving the sports teams at the Daily Record, Scottish Daily Mail and The Scotsman due to layoffs.

[Read more: News media job cuts 2024 tracked: Year starts with at least 650 redundancies]

At The Scotsman, which owns the National World, three football writers appear to be at risk of losing their jobs, with one expected to remain.

Press Gazette was told that the three journalists involved are over 60 years old between them.

If the cuts go ahead, it will mean the newspaper has one dedicated football columnist, one rugby and one golf columnist, the Press Gazette understands.

Sources from partners

At the Scottish Daily Mail, the publisher continues to bring its daily headlines with the Sunday Mail and its print and digital teams together.

The Press Gazette understands that seven of the seven full-time editors are at risk of losing their jobs along with three game changers. Several journalists are also said to be at risk.

It follows the departure of four London Mail on Sunday journalists in October, including sports editor Mike Richards, senior football reporter Rob Draper and senior sports reporter Nick Harris.

In September 2022 the Daily Mail and the Mail Online in London began to cooperate for the first time, being able to duplicate their output, and six months later there were many redundancies as the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday “became very close together”.

Less than a year ago The Times Scotland and Sunday Times Scotland alike became one seven-day operation.

Two sports writers left the Daily Record this month as part of parent company Reach in the latest round of layoffs.

Reach announced in November that 450 jobs would be cut, of which 320 are expected to be editorial, due to “extreme pressure on the business” including falling advertising revenue and declining traffic from Google and Facebook.

Daily Record sports writer David McCarthy has already announced that he will leave after 29 years. He wrote: “… I am focused on a job that has deadlines and headlines and everything that follows does not have the adrenaline rush of breaking a report of 1000 words when a last minute goal changes everything, but I can live with it.”

The Daily Record continues to have six sports writers including a sports desk of six more, while Reach also runs the Football Scotland website with three writers.

‘Unfathomable’ to lose Scottish sports journalists in Euros and Olympic year

Nick McGowan-Lowe, Scottish director of the National Union of Journalists, told the Press Gazette: “Anyone who understands Scotland knows that sport is one of Scotland’s cultural heritage and a source of local pride and identity.

“It is not surprising that in the year of the Euros and the Olympics that the publishers of Reach, National World and Daily Mail have chosen a way to engage Scottish readers and cut the work of talented and experienced writers who have provided important and popular coverage of Scottish sports.

“The three football writers featured in The Scotsman alone represent more than 60 years between them.”

The Press Gazette analysis has found 650 job cuts in the UK, Ireland and US media industries from the start of 2024.

Reach and Daily Mail publisher DMGT declined to comment. National World did not respond to a request for comment.

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