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Evening Standard to drop daily edition in favour of weekly newspaper

London’s Evening Standard newspaper is set to scrap its daily editions in favour of a weekly publication.

The newspaper is currently circulated free of charge at the capital’s Underground stations from Monday to Friday.

But in a memo sent to staff and seen by the PA news agency, the company said it has been making “substantial losses” with its current operation, which has prompted the need for a change of direction.

Fewer commuters travelling through London following the pandemic, changing consumer behaviours, and the introduction of wifi on parts of the London Underground have all affected the newspaper, it said.

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“Therefore, we plan to consult with our staff and external stakeholders to reshape the business, return to profitability and secure the long-term future of the number one news brand in London,” the email read.

The same memo, sent by the Evening Standard’s chairman, Paul Kanareck, proposed introducing a weekly newspaper to replace the daily publication.

This would be shaped by more in-depth analysis and relevant lifestyle, sports and culture guides and news.

The business said it needs to “change with the times”, but switching to a weekly publication means it can retain its printed newspaper in an increasingly digital world.

“Although this process may be unsettling, our goal is to replicate our previous success with our sister title, The Independent, which has seen enduring growth in readership and commercial success following its own strategic transition in 2016,” Mr Kanareck wrote.

The Evening Standard said that it was currently in consultation with its staff following the announcement.

It did not give details about any potential job reductions, but said the number of employees going forward will partly depend on its discussions with staff, and as it hones in on its digital platforms.

The Evening Standard is owned by Evgeny Lebedev, who is also a shareholder in The Independent and the son of oligarch Alexander Lebedev.

He was appointed to the House of Lords in November 2020.

Rival publisher Reach, which owns the Daily Mirror and the Express newspapers, earlier this year revealed plans to cut costs and reduce jobs as part of efforts to boost its online presence.

It said it needed to evolve to meet an “increasingly fast-paced, competitive and customer-focused digital world”.