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Evening Standard to drop daily print schedule as losses bite

Losses have been mounting for London's Evening Standard, which is majority-owned by Russian-British businessman Evgeny Lebedev.
Losses have been mounting for London's Evening Standard, which is majority-owned by Russian-British businessman Evgeny Lebedev.

London’s Evening Standard has reportedly told staff it will now only go to print once a week, down from the five-days-a-week format the newspaper currently operates.

In a memo to staff on Wednesday, Chairman Paul Kanareck said “substantial losses” at the publisher in recent years means it needs to “reshape the business”, Press Gazette reported.

The report added that a new weekly newspaper will replace the daily Evening Standard, and any impact on employees will be subject to a consultation process.

According to the memo, which was also reported on by The Guardian, the new title will feature: “More in-depth analysis of the issues that matter to Londoners, and serve them in a new and relevant way by celebrating the best London has to offer, from entertainment guides to lifestyle, sports, culture and news and the drumbeat of life in the world’s greatest city.”

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Losses have been mounting for the 197-year-old publisher, which is majority-owned by Russian-British businessman Evgeny Lebedev.

In 2022, the Evening Standard experienced a 14 per cent increase in losses, marking its sixth consecutive year of financial decline, made harder by a cool advertising market.

The newsbrand reported a pre-tax loss of £16.4m, widening from £14.4m in 2021, with an operating loss of £14m, an 18 per cent increase.

According to recent national newspaper circulation figures, the Evening Standard’s print distribution has dropped by almost two-thirds compared to the end of 2019, down to 276,502.

The paper, often read by London commuters, is in the midst of a pivot to a digital-first strategy as it struggles to claw back an audience that is increasingly working from home and getting their news from online platforms.

It is another blow to the paper after its editor, Dylan Jones, told Press Gazette earlier this month that he “never” reads a print newspaper anymore. Instead, he checks the Evening Standard website and then turns to “all the apps”.

Jones was brought in as a new editor along with a number of consultants in 2022 in a bid to revive the struggling brand.

The Evening Standard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.