Scepticism about the success of Lawson Muncaster-led City AM, the free London business newspaper that launched earlier this week, is being voiced by press buyers who worry that the newspaper won’t be read by commuters at the end of their journeys.
The newspaper is being handed out each morning in the City and Canary Wharf areas of London.
One media buyer says: “City AM looks great but will commuters have time to fit it into their mornings? If you have already read a newspaper on the train, it is unlikely you’ll pick up another before you reach the office.”
But Muncaster says he can make City AM profitable inside two years, one year ahead of schedule.
Muncaster, the former vice-president of global sales at Metro International, commissioned NOP to conduct research into the reading habits of City workers to try to convince advertisers. The research showed that 61 per cent of commuters read a paper after they finish their journey.
Muncaster adds: “Tuesday was only our second day and we distributed more than 68,000 copies in the City and Canary Wharf. Our ads will suit our audience, incorporating local retailers in Canary Wharf, the bars, restaurants, tailors and so on, as well as banking, hotels, airlines and luxury goods. I have the money to make us profitable in three years, but I think it will take us two.”
Another buyer says: “Emerging from the Underground, commuters are focused on getting to their desks. If they want more news at that point, they’ve got the internet.”