New editor named for record-breaking DC Thomson magazine


The People’s Friend, the world’s longest running women’s magazine, and still one of the UK’s biggest selling, has appointed respected editor and journalist Stuart Johnstone to lead the much-loved title.  

Stuart becomes only the 11th editor in the magazine’s 154-year history, which began with William D Latto in January 1869.   

The weekly magazine, published in Dundee by DC Thomson, is known around the world for its regular offering of feel-good fiction and features. Stuart has worked as a writer and editor at DC Thomson for over 20 years, and joins the Friend from his most recent role, as editor of sister title My Weekly. 

He succeeds Angela Gilchrist who served as editor for the last 15 years. In her final editorial in the July 8 magazine, she explains to readers that she has decided that the time is right to move on to pastures new.  

She gives heartfelt thanks to readers for their support, enthusiasm and friendship and lets them know that they, and the Friend are being left in Stuart’s “very safe hands”. 

Stuart says that he’s excited to be taking on the role and feels the weight of history on his shoulders, taking on such a cherished title. “It isn’t just a magazine,” he says, “It’s a way of life.”  

In his first editorial, he pays tribute to Angela, someone who he has worked with for many years and describes as a friend and a “truly inspirational and dedicated editor”.  

“I know what it means to readers,” he says, ”And I give them, and indeed Angela, my sincere promise to do my very best to continue bringing them the fantastic mix of stories and features that they enjoy in every issue.”  

Beano’s Gift Egbedi appointed as member of PPA’s inaugural Next Gen Board

Gift, Beano’s brand marketing and communications manager, has been appointed to the Professional Publishers Association’s (PPA) Next Gen Board. His talent and drive meant DC Thomson were keen to put him forward for this position and after a rigorous application process are delighted that he has been selected. 

He has been selected to join another 15 under 30s from across the industry to join the PPA’s Next Gen Board, who will work closely with the main PPA board to help shape the future of the media industry  

This initiative was launched as part of the PPA’s strategy to encourage more inclusivity of younger and more diverse voices across the media sector. The first meeting will take place in July.  

Gift Egbedi says: “I look forward to developing new relationships within the publishing and media industry working alongside my peers and members of the main PPA Board to access new ideas, learn more and share insightful information about the work of other media professionals. 

I am so excited to be part of the PPA Next Gen Board and I hope to contribute to the growth of the sector as a representative of DC Thomson

Sarah Hall, head of brand marketing strategy say: From BeanOLD to Britain’s Funniest Class and his incredible social and D&I working group initiatives, Gift has made a phenomenal difference to Beano Studios in the three years he’s been part of the team.  

The PPA New Gen Board is lucky to have one of our brightest stars, who I know will make a phenomenal difference and be an incredible voice for the future of the industry. 

DC Thomson shortlisted for 15 awards at the UK Regional Press Awards

DC Thomson is celebrating the end of 2022 with an incredible 15 nominations at the UK Regional Press Awards.  

The Courier, The Press and Journal, Evening Telegraph and Evening Express have been shortlisted across a number of categories, and several members of the editorial team have also been recognised with individual nominations.  

Dale Haslam, part of the newsroom’s content development team, has been shortlisted for Daily Reporter of the Year for impact investigations such as Gangster Granny and a series on cyber fraud. 

 The data journalism team, led by Lesley-Anne Kelly, received three of the eight shortlisted nominations in the Digital Initiative category with nods for their analysis of baby name trends, NHS waiting times tracker and a project mapping local victims of WW1, while The Press & Journal’s football show, Highland League Weekly, has been nominated in the same category.  

The Courier’s Alan Temple has been nominated for Sports Journalist of the Year, for a series of articles produced in light of the controversial signing of footballer David Goodwillie at Raith Rovers.  

Alex Watson, head of comment for the Press and Journal, and fellow P&J columnists Catherine Deveney and Kerry Hudson are shortlisted for Columnist of the Year, and Ellie House received a nomination for Features Writer of the Year. 

Staff photographers Mhairi Edwards and Steve MacDougall are each nominated for Photographer of the Year for their work across all titles.  

The Big Food Appeal, a campaign organised by the Press and Journal, Evening Express and Original 106 to tackle food poverty, is shortlisted for Campaign of the Year.  

DC Thomson has been nominated for News Brand of the Year and News Website of the Year following the digital transformation which saw the daily news brands hit the milestone 25,000 paid subscribers earlier this year.  

Tom Miller, chief transformation officer said: “With DC Thomson’s ongoing transformation, we are learning more about our readers, their needs and mindsets with every day that passes.  

“There is much to be proud of, and these nominations are testament to the immense effort that our writers and photographers put into blending insight with creativity to produce outstanding journalism every day.” 

The full shortlist is available here. 

Six Wins for DC Thomson at the PPA Scotland Awards!

It was a brilliant night for DC Thomson at the PPA Scotland Awards on Wednesday night (30th November) where our brands scooped six wins.  

Robert Wight was awarded The Editor of the Year for his personal contribution to the ‘all round brilliance’ of The Scots Mag.  

The People’s Friend was an ‘outstanding winner’ in the Media Brand of the Year category being both a multi-channel and multi-layered brand. 

Beano took home two awards. The team were awarded Children’s Magazine of the Year for evolving into a modern publication whilst keeping the essence of their roots. Their second win was Event of the Year for the Art of Breaking the Rules which judges dubbed both ‘creative and innovative’ while perfectly capturing their audience.  

Wullie Marr was awarded the Editorial Photograph of the Year for ‘Amanda Buchan’ in Evening Express as his entry exemplified the power of great photography. 

The team at My Weekly picked up the award for Newsletter of the Year with judges commenting specifically on the high quality of their newsletter. 

Special mention to bunkered who were nominated in a staggering five categories including, Event of the Year for bunkered Live, Podcast of the Year and Magazine Cover of the Year, Bryce Ritchie for Editor of the Year and Michael McEwan for Columnist of the Year.  

Find the full list of winners here.  


It’s party time for Puzzler Media


Back in 1972 Puzzler hit the newsstands as the nation’s first ever dedicated puzzle magazine. Now, Puzzler Media turns 50 and they’re celebrating in style.  

What better way to mark the occasion than a specially designed puzzle!? Screen Test is 50 cunning ‘rebus’ puzzles based around TV shows from the last 50 years. This real-life installation has been in the window of the DC Thomson Fleet Street office since the 9th November and has caused a bit of head-scratching from passers-by as they ponder what a hammer sitting on a pile of Sherlock Holmes novels could possibly represent… For those who aren’t in or around London but still love to solve puzzles, Screen Test is also available online.  

 Puzzler’s head of innovation, Shameem Begg says: “We wanted a live experience to spread some joy to the millions of people who play puzzles every day. We knew it had to be something fun that spanned generations – just like Puzzler!   

“We all remember, with great fondness, TV shows from our youth so we’ve created a set of 50 visual clues to represent 50 of the UK’s best known TV shows from the last 50 years. Rebus puzzles make you smile when you solve them, the TV show Catchphrase is a great example – it started back in 1986 and people continue to watch it today because it’s so much fun to play along.”   

The fun doesn’t stop there… Puzzler Media released a gold-foiled edition of Puzzler, featuring some iconic and original puzzles, exclusive competitions and a special Miranda-themed selection curated by the one-and-only Miranda Hart. 

Miranda says, “I’m genuinely thrilled to have been asked to be guest editor for Puzzler, for it has been a good friend to me during both the good times and bad times of my half-century in this world. Yes, I too am turning 50 this year – all the greats were conceived in 1972 (my wholly unbiased opinion…).”