Freesheet hires freelancers to cover 'the skinny'

A stand up comedian is preparing to launch a free monthly tabloid aimed at becoming Scotland’s bible for entertainment fans and socialites.

Xavier Toby has teamed up with freelance reporters and ex- journalists from The List, the North’s top-selling entertainment guide, to unveil and edit ‘The Skinny.’

It hopes to rival its predecessor as the definitive entertainment listings guide for Edinburgh and Glasgow, and will roll out 20,000 copies to 500 clubs, bars and cafes for its debut.

According to The Scotsman, Toby will assume the role of managing editor alongside former colleague Sophie Kyle, who will be the freesheet’s proprietor and publisher.

Both have previously worked together on a free music paper called Noise, but conceded it was a business failure, despite being well received.

“We saw a gap in the market with Noise,” Toby said, speaking to the newspaper.

“That gap is still there. Most cities in the world have a free listings paper, so it is strange that Edinburgh and Glasgow, two vibrant cities, do not.”

Aided by freelance contributors, Toby claims his new freesheet will have unique and differing content from the current market offering, the List, whose former reviewers and section editors are now on board at The Skinny.

“We’ve got a younger focus. Most of our writers and contributors are part of the scenes they cover,” he said. “For example, our arts editor is an artist.”

Initial publication will not however create a windfall for the freelancers or the publication’s full-time staff, given the policy that writers will not be paid until advertising revenue starts to roll in.

Already advertisers counting their inches include local bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, with national brands expected to follow.

The Skinny, which takes its name from the slang American phrase ‘What’s the skinny?’ meaning what is the ‘inside information?’ will be distributed equally to Edinburgh and Glasgow, where the publisher hopes it will reach more than just a local audience, given the North’s massive influx of backpackers and tourists.



 

21st September 2005

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