City AM opts for temporary closedown for the summer

City AM, the free business newspaper, will close down for a summer break next week because London’s financial district is so quiet, according to managing director Lawson Muncaster.

He says there has been a fall in average ad revenues of up to 30% in August, compared to June’s income, and distribution has fallen from nearly 90,000 to 75,000.

The newspaper will cease printing from Monday August 21 and hit the presses again on Tuesday 29, to include the Bank Holiday in the break. Shutting down for a summer break is a custom familiar to newspapers around Europe but has not been practised here in the UK.

Muncaster states: “The City is dead at the moment, with everybody away. This week alone there are three days when not a single business is announcing any kind of results. We’ll be distributing as normal after the break – we’ve got more ad space bookings for September than we’ve ever had in a single month so we’re not worrying.”

City AM, which was initially distributed just by hand in London’s financial districts, will reach its first anniversary in the first week of September, and executives say the newspaper will become profitable in its second year.

The newspaper’s owners are targeting a circulation of 100,000 and last month achieved a figure of 87,993, a rise of 27.4% since its first ABC figure for December 2005. That growth has been helped in part by City AM’s development of corporate distribution within big companies and institutions. Most recently, Abbey has agreed to the paper being distributed in its offices.

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