Daily Record
Front page, 4 December 2007
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Reach plc
EditorDavid Dick[1]
Founded1895; 129 years ago (1895)
Political alignmentScottish Labour
HeadquartersGlasgow, Scotland
Circulation52,798 (as of January 2024)[2]
OCLC number500344244

The Daily Record is a Scottish national tabloid newspaper based in Glasgow. The newspaper is published Monday–Saturday and its website is updated on an hourly basis, seven days a week. The Record's sister title is the Sunday Mail. Both titles are owned by Reach plc and have a close kinship with the UK-wide Daily Mirror as a result.

The Record covers UK news and sport with a Scottish focus. Its website boasts the largest readership of any publisher based in Scotland.[citation needed] The title was at the forefront of technological advances in publishing throughout the 20th century and became the first European daily newspaper to be produced in full colour.[3]

As the Record's print circulation has declined in line with other national papers, it has focused increasing attention on expanding its digital news operation.[4]

Foundation and early history

The Daily Record was first published in 1895 in Glasgow as a sister title to the North British Daily Mail.

The Mail – which was not linked to the London-based newspaper of the same name – was the first daily newspaper to be published in Glasgow when launched in 1847.

The Glasgow-based Mail was among the first papers to offer readers in Scotland the latest political and business news direct from London. Publishers based outside the UK capital were then reliant on correspondents sending information in the post, which could take days to arrive.

The rapid expansion of the British railway network in the 1840s revolutionised the postal service as letters could now be sent from London to Scotland overnight, making daily newspapers produced outside of the south-east commercially viable.[5]

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 was a global industrial centre and its population was approaching one million.[6] The Daily Record was launched to meet the increasing appetite for reading material and also to take advantage of the huge demand for advertising space from the city's booming commercial sector.

The Record was a product of the Amalgamated Press company established by Alfred Harmsworth, the press baron who would become Lord Northcliffe. The paper was first printed at a factory in Frederick Lane.

The daily edition of the Mail ceased publication in 1901 and was incorporated into the Record, which was renamed the Daily Record and Mail.[7] The separate Sunday Mail continued publication and survives to this day.

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.[8]

Mackintosh wanted to maximise 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 Record, Sunday Mail and another newspaper, the Glasgow Evening News, for £1 million in 1922. He formed a controlling company known as Associated Scottish Newspapers Limited. Larger premises were required for the three titles and production was switched from the Mackintosh building to a new building at 67 Hope Street in 1926.[9]

The Record, Sunday Mail and Evening News were all sold to the London-based Mirror Group in 1955. Glasgow was by then still served by three evening newspapers, despite the city's population having peaked. The Evening News was closed in January 1957.

Production of the Record and Sunday Mail moved to a purpose-built office and printing plant at Anderston Quay in 1971.[9]


The Record made British newspaper history on 7 October 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 smudging.[7]

In June 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.[10]

In 1971 the Daily Record became the first European newspaper to be printed in "full colour" and was the first British national title 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 switch to colour printing was overseen by editor Derek Webster and saw the paper's circulation jump to 750,000 copies per day. Printers from around the world, including a team from Asahi Shimbun in Japan, visited the Record's Glasgow plant to learn about the potential of the new printing press.[11]

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"[12] 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,[13] 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.[14]

The Scottish edition of the rival Express was drastically scaled back with large job losses in 1974,[15] 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.[16]

The Record and its sister title, the Sunday Mail, were purchased by Trinity Mirror in 1999,[17] 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)[18]
2010 (January)[19]
2012 (May)[20]
2015 (May)[21]
2016 (December)[22]
2017 (January)[23]
2019 (June)[24]
2019 (December)[25]
2021 (January)[26]
2022 (January)[27]
2023 (February)[28]
2024 (February)[29]


A Daily Record newspaper archives website was launched in 2019, with beginning with the first edition from 1895.

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.[30]

Daily Record PM

In August 2006, the paper launched afternoon editions in Glasgow and Edinburgh entitled Record PM.[31] 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.[32] It was simultaneously announced that new editions were to be released in Aberdeen and Dundee.[32] The PM is no longer published by the Daily Record.

Political stance

The Record endorsed Harold Wilson ahead of the 1964 general election and supported Labour at every subsequent national election for the next forty years. The paper has taken a much more critical stance towards the party in the 21st century, coinciding with Labour's decline as an electoral force in Scotland.[33]

The paper is a vigorous promoter of Scottish industries and associated trade unions. It was particularly critical of Margaret Thatcher during her premiership and blamed Conservative Party economic policies for the closure of numerous factories, shipyards and foundries throughout Scotland in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Record 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.[34] The plant was ultimately closed in 1992.

Like its sister title the Mirror, the Record opposed the Conservative Party under the premiership of Boris Johnson.[35]

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.[36]

The Record was opposed to the Scottish National Party (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.[37]

Regarding the prospect of a second Scottish 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."[37]

The Record has campaigned for the decriminalisation of drug use in Scotland since 2019.[38] In several special editions, it spoke to doctors, politicians, academics, recovery groups and former drug addicts, with the majority advocating treating drugs as a health matter rather than a criminal one. It suggested that criminal convictions inappropriately punished drug users for their addictions, handing down fines they could not afford to pay or custodial sentences that made their drug problems worse. The paper also highlighted the use of drug consumption facilities, stating that they encourage addicts into treatment, reduce the amount of heroin needles on city pavements, counter the spread of diseases such as HIV and ultimately save lives. However, it stated that there would need to be changes to current law in the UK, such as decriminalising the bringing in of certain drugs to these facilities, before it would be possible to open and effectively run such facilities. The paper said that the biggest route to progress is through properly funding harm reduction and rehab programmes.[39]


1937–1946: Clem Livingstone
1946–1955: Alastair 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


  1. ^ Greenslade, Roy (6 February 2014). "New editors for Scotland's Daily Record and Sunday Mail". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Daily Record". Audit Bureau of Circulations. 13 February 2024. Retrieved 2 March 2024.
  3. ^ "Derek Webster, the man who coloured the world's newspapers, dies at 87". The Drum. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  4. ^ Sharman, David. "More than 30 jobs created as Reach launches and revives titles - Journalism News from HoldtheFrontPage". HoldtheFrontPage. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  5. ^ MacLean, Robert (27 February 2013). "What is the future of printed media? Special Collections (with an apologetic nod to Radio 4) takes The Long View!". University of Glasgow Library Blog. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Glasgow - Ordnance Survey large scale Scottish town plans, 1847-1895 - National Library of Scotland". maps.nls.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Daily Record in British Newspaper Archive". Retrieved 31 March 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "Daily Record Building". peoplemakeglasgow.com. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Mackintosh Architecture: Biography". www.mackintosh-architecture.gla.ac.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Haile Selassie's visit to Wemyss Bay - Historical Photos of Wemyss Bay - The Wemyss Bay Website". Wemyssbay.net. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Derek Webster, editor of the path-breaking colourful Daily Record". the Guardian. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  12. ^ Butler, David; Pinto-Duschinsky, Michael (1971). The British General Election of 1970. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 461. ISBN 9780333121429.
  13. ^ "The man who made a monster". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Pubs, punch-ups and pay-offs: Glasgow in the 1970s | DAILY DRONE | Alastair McIntyre". dailydrone.co.uk. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  15. ^ "NEWSPAPERS (SCOTLAND) (Hansard, 26 March 1974)". api.parliament.uk. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Scottish Sun claims victory over Record". Press Gazette. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  17. ^ "History". Trinity Mirror. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010.
  18. ^ "Daily newspaper ABCs - October 2006". Theguardian.com.
  19. ^ "ABCs: National daily newspaper circulation January 2010". the Guardian. 12 February 2010.
  20. ^ "ABCs: National daily newspaper circulation June 2012". the Guardian. 13 July 2012.
  21. ^ Turvill, William (5 June 2015). "National newspaper circulations, May 2015: Mail on Sunday overtakes Sun on Sunday, Times remains only growing title". Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Print ABCs: Seven UK national newspapers losing print sales at more than 10 per cent year on year". Press Gazette. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  23. ^ Ponsford, Dominic (16 February 2017). "National newspaper print ABCs for Jan 2017: Times and Observer both boost print sales year on year". Press Gazette.
  24. ^ "Daily Record - Data - ABC | Audit Bureau of Circulations" (PDF). Abc.org.
  25. ^ "National newspaper ABCs: Observer sees smallest paid-for circulation drop in December". Press Gazette. 16 January 2020.
  26. ^ "Daily Record - Data - ABC | Audit Bureau of Circulations". Abc.org.
  27. ^ "Daily Record - Data - ABC | Audit Bureau of Circulations".
  28. ^ Certificates abc.org.uk
  29. ^ Certificates abc.org.uk
  30. ^ "Daily Record". British Newspaper Archive. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  31. ^ Daily Record launches PM editions, Trinity Mirror, 22 August 2006
  32. ^ a b "Daily Record PM drops cover price". BBC News. 5 January 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  33. ^ Hutcheon, Paul (12 September 2020). "Richard Leonard has failed as Scottish Labour leader and he should quit". Daily Record. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  34. ^ Stewart, David (30 August 2009). The Path to Devolution and Change: A Political History of Scotland Under Margaret Thatcher. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-84511-938-6.
  35. ^ "Toxic Boris Johnson avoids Scots voters because he is bad news for union". Daily Record. 4 May 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  36. ^ Bochel, Hugh; Denver, David; Mitchell, James; Pattie, Charles (11 January 2013). Scotland Decides: The Devolution Issue and the 1997 Referendum. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-33168-8.
  37. ^ a b "Time for Labour and SNP to work together on Covid recovery and keep Tories out". Daily Record. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  38. ^ "Scotland's drug deaths set to top 1,000". BBC News. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  39. ^ "It's time to decriminalise drug use to beat Scotland's crippling death crisis". Daily Record. 4 July 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2019.