DC Thomson is a media company based in Dundee, Scotland. Founded by David Couper Thomson in 1905, it is best known for publishing The Dundee Courier, The Evening Telegraph and The Sunday Post newspapers, and the comics Oor Wullie, The Broons, The Beano, The Dandy and Commando. It also owns the Aberdeen Journals Group which publishes the Press and Journal. The company owns several websites, including Findmypast, and owned the now defunct social media site Friends Reunited.
|Founder||David Couper Thomson|
|Christopher HW Thomson (Chairman)
David Thomson (Director & COO)Richard Hall (Director)
|Products||Sunday Post, The Evening Telegraph, My Weekly, Jackie, Shout, The Beano, The Dandy, Commando|
See also: List of D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd publications
|Revenue||£245 million (2016)|
|£30.06 million (2016)|
|Total assets||£1.404 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||DC Thomson Media, DC Thomson Ventures, Brightsolid, Findmypast, Beano Studios, Shortlist Media, Puzzler Media, Wild & Wolf, Pure Radio Scotland, Fifth Ring|
The company began as a branch of the Thomson family business when William Thomson became the sole proprietor of Charles Alexander & Company, publishers of Dundee Courier and Daily Argus. In 1884, David Couper Thomson took over the publishing business, and established it as D.C. Thomson in 1905. The firm flourished, and took its place as the third J in the "Three Js", the traditional summary of Dundee industry ('jute, jam and journalism').
Thomson was notable for his conservatism, vigorously opposing the introduction of trade unions into his workforce, and for refusing to employ Catholics. Among historians of popular culture, the firm has "excited a good deal of interest precisely because it has always shrouded its activities in secrecy ... [it] has never allowed scholars access to its archives, and has declined to participate in exhibitions of juvenile literature."
By 2010, the company was producing more than 100 million comics, magazines, and newspapers every year from offices in Dundee, Glasgow, Manchester, and London. In June 2010, 350 jobs at DC Thomson were made redundant with the closure of the West Ward Printworks in Dundee, along with a section of the Kingsway Print Plant.
Although the principal offices are now located outside Dundee city centre at Kingsway, the Courier Building at Meadowside has been retained as the company headquarters. This 1902 building was designed to resemble an American red stone, steel reinforced office block. When a nine-storey tower extension was added in 1960, the architect T. Lindsay Grey kept the same style. The building underwent extensive renovation and reopened to employees in 2017, and is able to accommodate 600 workers.
In 2009 DC Thomson acquired the magazine company This England Publishing, which included This England magazine and Evergreen quarterly magazine. In the same year DC Thomson acquired the Friends Reunited website from ITV for £25.6m, but by 2011 was valued at £5.2m and was eventually shut down completely in February 2016. In 2013 there were nine job losses at This England Publishing with the editorial team remaining but relocating in Cheltenham.
As of 2016, the company posted an increase in pre-tax profits and revenue whilst employing over 2,000 workers. Despite the falling circulation of newspapers and magazines, DC Thomson attributed the rising profits to company-wide cuts to operating costs and good figures in digital revenues and events. The company went on to say that they would continue to branch out their brand into new areas to support the traditional newspaper and magazine divisions.
Brightsolid is a data centre and cloud-based hosting company based in Dundee that DC Thomson established in 1995 as Scotland Online. It became Brightsolid in 2008, organised into two divisions: Brightsolid Online Publishing (BSOP) and Brightsolid Online Technology (BSOT). The two divisions were split into separate businesses in October 2013, and Brightsolid Online Publishing was renamed DC Thomson Family History, with Annelies van den Belt as chief executive.
Findmypast Limited (formerly DC Thomson Family History, until 2015) owns a variety of large genealogy sites worldwide, including Findmypast, Genes Reunited and Mocavo. The company had contracts to digitise archives for the Imperial War Museum and the British Library, where it was making the British Newspaper Archive searchable.
D.C. Thomson publications include:
- "D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd". Retrieved 28 October 2016.
- "brightsolid acquires Friends Reunited". Brightsolid.com. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
- "Victorian Dundee: Jute, Jam & Journalism". Scottish History. BBC. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- "Gazetteer for Scotland: David Couper Thomson".
- MacKenzie, John M. (1984). Propaganda and Empire: the manipulation of British public opinion, 1880–1960. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press. p. 219. ISBN 0719018692.
- "Beano publisher DC Thomson to cut 350 jobs". BBC News. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
- "Dundee, 22 Meadowside, Dc Thomson And Co, Courier Building". Canmore. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
- Thomson, David (9 May 2017). "Photos and video: The Courier goes back home to Meadowside in Dundee". The Courier. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
- "DC Thomson's Friends Reunited continues fall in value". BBC News. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Publisher DC Thomson posts 20% rise in profits". BBC News. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
- "The Future for Family History is Digital". DC Thomson Family History. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Digital media executive Annelies van den Belt joins in brightsolid reorganisation". The Courier. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Shake-up at online firm brightsolid". BBC News. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Joseph McAleer, Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain: 1914–1950, Oxford University Press, 1992. Includes a chapter on D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.