Evening Standard to go free from October 12

The London Evening Standard, recently bought by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, is to go free.

Evening Standard

The announcement follows the decision of rival publisher News International to axe its free afternoon daily in the capital, thelondonpaper.

The Evening Standard, currently with a cover price 50 pence, will go free from 12 October. The publisher plans to put more 600,000 copies into distribution daily.

The newspaper has been experimenting with different price points at different times of day in recent months.

Lebedev, chairman of Evening Standard Ltd, says: “I am confident that more than doubling the London Evening Standard’s circulation and maintaining quality journalism is what London deserves.”

Managing director Andrew Mullins says: “Sustaining a paid-for afternoon newspaper had its challenges even before the freesheets were launched in 2006. There are so many competing distractions to potential readers, particularly with new technologies. Being a quality newspaper with large scale and reach should transform our commercial fortunes.”

The newspaper recently switched the methodology for measuring its average net circulation audit, choosing to be measured as a regional newspaper than a national publication.

The London Evening Standard was bought from Associated Newspapers earlier this year. The latter distributes its own free afternoon paper London Lite with about 400,000 copies being handed out daily. Associated Newspapers also publishes the free morning newspaper Metro.

The publisher says that it is “early days” since the closure of thelondonpaper and the launch of the new edition of the London Evening Standard has not happened yet. “Therefore we continue to assess the situation and we are pleased with the progress we are making with the London Lite,” says a spokesperson.

Speculation was rife five years ago that Associated Newspapers had given serious thought to turning the Evening Standard into a free publication.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here