Daily Record (Scotland)

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Daily Record
Daily Record logo.svg
Front page, 4 December 2007
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Reach plc
EditorDavid Dick [1]
Founded1895;126 years ago (1895)
Political alignment Labour Party
Headquarters Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Circulation 83,074(as of June 2021) [2]
ISSN 0956-8069
OCLC number 500344244
Website www.dailyrecord.co.uk

The Daily Record is a national tabloid newspaper and news website based in Glasgow, Scotland.


The newspaper is published from Monday-Saturday and the website is updated on an hourly basis, seven days a week. Its sister title is the Sunday Mail .

As part of Reach plc, the Record has a close kinship with the UK-wide Daily Mirror .

The Record covers UK news and sport with a Scottish focus. Its website boasts the largest readership of any publisher based in Scotland.

Early history

The North British Daily Mail was the first daily newspaper to be published in Glasgow when launched in 1847. It has no link to the present day London-based newspaper of the same name.

The Glasgow-based Mail was among the first to offer readers in Scotland the latest political and business news direct from London thanks to advances in printing technology and the expansion of the railway network, which allowed papers to travel long distances overnight. [3]

Sir Charles Cameron, one of the most celebrated Scottish journalists of his day, became editor of the Mail in 1864 and oversaw its expansion.

By 1895 Glasgow had become a global industrial centre and its population was approaching one million. [4] A sister title to the Mail, the Daily Record, was launched that year to meet the increasing demand for reading material.

The Mail ceased publication in 1901 and was incorporated into the fast-growing Record, which was renamed the Daily Record and Mail. [5]

In 1904, the paper's growing success was reflected when the Record moved into a purpose-built headquarters at Renfield Lane in Glasgow city centre. The five-storey building was designed by the eminent Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. [6]

Mackintosh wanted to maximize light in the poorly-lit lane and adopted a striking use of colour on the exterior, combining yellow sculpted sandstone with blue and white glazed reflective bricks. The lower floors were used for newspaper production while the upper levels were used by editorial and commercial staff.

Lord Kemsley bought the paper for £1 million in 1922, forming a controlling company known as Associated Scottish Newspapers Limited. Production was transferred from Renfield Lane to 67 Hope Street in 1926.


The Record made British newspaper history on October 7, 1936, by publishing the first colour advertisement seen in a daily title – a full page advertising Dewar's White Label Whisky. It took some time for colour advertisements to become popular across other newspapers as printing techniques of the time could lead to smudges. [5]

In June of 1936, the Record also published what was hailed as the first colour photograph to accompany a news story when the paper printed an image of then-exiled Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie upon his visit to the west of Scotland, where he stayed at Castle Wemyss. [7]

In 1971 the Daily Record became the first European newspaper to be printed with run-of-paper colour, and was the first British national to introduce computer page make-up technology. This was made by possible by the opening of a purpose-built printing plant at Anderston Quay on the River Clyde.

The Daily Record building at Central Quay, Glasgow, opened in 1999 Wfm daily record.jpg
The Daily Record building at Central Quay, Glasgow, opened in 1999

Circulation wars

By the time of the UK general election of 1970, the Daily Record was described as one of "the two best-selling Scottish newspapers" [8] along with the Scottish edition of the Daily Express.

The post-war years were a time of intense competition among daily newspapers across the UK to attract both readers and lucrative advertising business. The competition was particularly fierce among the Scottish press, [9] which served a country with an above average number of papers despite a population of just over five million.

The rivalry between the Record and the Express to be first to publish exclusive stories was at its height during the 1960s and 1970s, an era when most London-based newspapers had yet to establish themselves in Scotland. [10]

The Scottish edition of the rival Express was drastically scaled back with large job losses in 1974, [11] by which time the Record had become the biggest-selling newspaper in Scotland.

The Record's dominance of the daily newspaper market was challenged when Rupert Murdoch launched a well-funded Scottish edition of The Sun in 1987. The new title's launch editor was Jack Irvine, who was poached from the Record by Murdoch.

In 2006 the Scottish edition of The Sun claimed to have finally over taken the Record in terms of print copies being sold each day. This was the result of aggressive cost-cutting, which saw the Sun sold for just 10p per copy - half the cost of the Record at the time. [12]

The Record and its sister title, the Sunday Mail, were purchased by Trinity Mirror in 1999, [13] from the estate of Robert Maxwell.

Digital expansion

The first dedicated Daily Record website was launched by 2002. At first, it merely uploaded stories published in the previous day's newspaper.

By the end of the decade the digital operation of the Record grew substantially, with breaking news and sports stories published first online and then subsequently expanded for print.

From 2012 onwards there was substantial investment in the website with a dedicated online editor and several assistant editors focusing entirely on stories which would be published online.


Year (period)Average circulation per issue
2005 (October) [14]
2010 (January) [15]
2012 (May) [16]
2015 (May) [17]
2016 (December) [18]
2017 (January) [19]
2019 (June) [20]
2019 (December) [21]
2021 (January) [22]


A Daily Record newspaper archives website was launched in 2019, with the first edition in 1895 being the most recent.

Historical copies of the Daily Record from the years 1914 to 1918 are available to search and view in digitised form at the British Newspaper Archive. [23]

Daily Record PM

In August 2006, the paper launched afternoon editions in Glasgow and Edinburgh entitled Record PM. [24] Both papers initially had a cover price of 15p, but in January 2007, it was announced that they would become freesheets, which are distributed on the streets of the city centres. [25] It was simultaneously announced that new editions were to be released in Aberdeen and Dundee. [25] The PM is no longer published by the Daily Record.

Political stance

The Record was an active supporter of the Labour party from the time Harold Wilson was elected leader before the 1964 general election. But since Labour's decline as an electoral force in Scotland, the paper has taken a much more critical stance towards the party. [26]

The paper is a vigorous promoter of Scottish industries and trade unions. It was particularly critical of Margaret Thatcher during her premiership and Conservative economic policies that led to numerous factories, shipyards and foundries closing throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

It campaigned doggedly to save the Ravenscraig steel works, a major employer in the west of Scotland, and organised a mass petition of support which was in turn handed in at Downing Street. [27] The plant was ultimately closed in 1992.

Similar to its sister title the Mirror, the Record remains opposed to the Conservative Party and the premiership of Boris Johnson. [28]

The Record backed Labour's policy of creating a Scottish Parliament, despite opposition from the then Conservative Government, throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The paper advocated for a "Yes-Yes" vote at the 1997 devolution referendum. [29]

The Record was opposed to the SNP and both Scottish independence and urged voters to stick with Labour at the 2007 Holyrood election, which the party lost by one seat.

At the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, the Record accepted the SNP would emerge as the largest party in terms of seats. It called on Nicola Sturgeon to work with Labour if she failed to win an outright majority. [30]

Regarding the prospect of a second independence referendum, the paper said in a pre-election editorial: "If the people of Scotland vote for parties that support another referendum, that is what should happen." [30]

The Record has campaigned for the decriminalisation of drug use in Scotland since 2019. [31] In several special editions, it spoke to doctors, politicians, academics, recovery groups and former drug addicts, the overwhelming majority it stated spoke of treating drugs as a health matter rather than a criminal one. The paper said that court convictions are punishing drug users for their addictions, they are given fines they can't afford to pay and jail terms that make their problems worse. It suggested that millions of pounds that are used to force addicts through courts and prison sentences could be redirected to tackling drug gangs and dealers. The paper also highlighted the use of drug consumption facilities, stating they encourage addicts into treatment, reduce the amount of heroin needles on city pavements, counter the spread of diseases such as HIV and save lives. However, it stated that such a properly serviced facility would not currently be able to be opened under UK law unless it was amended so that people who brought drugs into such facilities could not be criminalised for doing so. The paper said that the biggest route to progress is through properly funding harm reduction and rehab programmes. [32]

In September 2021 The Record launched an internal investigation into the political views of several of its journalists, after historical tweets surfaced, revealing systemic anti-protestant bigotry, and racism. [33]


1937–1946: Clem Livingstone
1946–1955: Alistair M. Dunnett
1955–1967: Alex Little
1967–1984: Derek Webster
1984–1988: Bernard Vickers
1988–1994: Endell Laird
1994–1998: Terry Quinn
1998–2000: Martin Clarke
2000–2003: Peter Cox
2003–2011: Bruce Waddell
2011–2014: Allan Rennie
2014–2018: Murray Foote
2018–: David Dick

See also

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