Associated Newspapers is to launch This Is London, a Website based on its Evening Standard and related guide books to the capital, by the end of the month.
Martin Dunn, editorial director at Associated New Media and editorial head of Associated’s cable TV venture Cable One, says the site (thisislondon.com) will be promoted to appeal to both visitors to the capital and residents.
The site is the first developed by Associated which directly attempts to exploit the content of one of its newspaper titles.
It will compete against the listings content of rival sites operated by Capital Radio and Time Out which already provide regularly updated listings and information about events in the capital.
The site launches with an editorial and production team of 14. It is estimated that Associated has made a first-year budgetary commitment of over 1m.
Although the site’s online sections appear clearly branded around the Evening Standard and its various supplements and guides, Associated has deliberately avoided presenting the site as the “Evening Standard Online”.
According to Dunn, this is to ensure the site clearly appeals to surfers – among the estimated 12.5 million foreign visitors to London – who may not be aware of the Evening Standard brand, but are searching for online tourist information.
“If you are in New York, are you going to know that the Evening Standard is London’s newspaper?,” he says.
It is believed the online publishing division is also planning to launch Websites based around the content of its national newspaper titles, The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, in the first half of next year.