The freesheets suffered sharp drops in circulation in December, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures, as Londoners left the capital for the holiday period.
News International-owned thelondonpaper saw its circulation drop by 5% to 471,158, down from a July high of more than 500,000. It remains ahead of rival London Lite, owned by Associated Newspapers, which saw its circulation drop by 2.8% to 389,304 in December.
Associated Newspapers’s morning freesheet Metro fared better, with the London edition dropping by 0.49% to 742,291. However, its paid-for evening paper The Evening Standard saw its circulation slip from 2.6% to 284,406.
Business freesheet City AM also saw Christmas take its toll, with circulation falling by 13.9% to 86,822.