The first news of a new title for London emerged yesterday (30 November) when a holding site appeared at www.thelondonweekly.co.uk and reports appeared saying the Global Publishing Group (GPG) had raised £5.5m for launch. The Group now says that it has raised £10.5m
The site is set to go live on 20 December and the London Weekly hopes that it will help with the target of 30% of the paper’s content to be generated by readers. The publisher aims to distribute 250,000 copies of the title on Friday and Saturday mornings outside main line tube stations.
The website will provide an online radio station, video sharing service and news sharing service “offering members of the public a chance to write and publish their own stories online.”
The new title aims to fill the gap left by the demise of News International’s thelondonpaper and Associated Newspapers’ London Lite.
Marketing manager for London Weekly Paul Morris says: “What the team at London Weekly found was that 70% of Londoners felt that they were being bombarded by free titles every single say on the way to work and back. The focus spent by readers on these newspapers was very minimal as the weekday cycle meant commuters were more focused on getting to work and upon their return are too tired to concentrate on adverts or editorials which were targeted to them.”
He added that 85% of the research poll would like to see a round up of the whole week’s light political news, entertainment, fashion and lifestyle.
GPG says that it planned the title before the announced axing of the London Lite and thelondonpaper. The group is a partnership formed by five private investors.
Media buyers have given a mixed reaction to the proposed newspaper.but some say that there is advertiser money available to be picked up by the right product.
The current free titles in London now comprise Associated’s morning Metro newspaper, niche business title City AM and Alexander Lebedev’s the London Standard. The latter has just announced it plans to extend distribution to some 800,000 copies and that it is working with independent newsagents outside zones 1 and 2.