Posts Tagged ‘British newspapers’

London freebie draws last breath

September 22, 2009

FREE-SHEET, The London Paper, has hit the streets for the last time.

The afternoon paper, established in 2006 in part as a spoiler to the Evening Standard, inspired a third freebie in the city, London Lite.

News Corp’s James Murdoch announced last month that The London Paper would close, stating that while it made a marginal profit it was not core to News International’s business model of paid content and advertising revenue.

It is estimated The London Paper had 1.1 million readers immediately before the decision came down to close it.

Some media commentators in Britain, including former Daily Mirror editor Roy Greenslade, who now writes for The Guardian, believes The London Paper and London Lite should have merged. 

London Lite is the free sheet established by the owner of The London Evening Standard to ward off the News International assualt.

The London Evening Standard continues to rack up fiscal losses under its owner, the former KGB spy and 50-year-old billionaire, Alexander Lebedev, who has given the paper three years to break even.

Publishing on the streets of London has been a complex game with competitors often accusing each other of bogus circulation claims and a fight over distribution contracts in areas such as the London Underground.

Last week, The London Evening Standard printed in New York as part of a tourism promotion to increase ties between the two cities.

A full story on that initiative can be found in this week’s News Now ezine on the PANPA website.

British newspapers sold short by bulk distributor

August 18, 2009

MAJOR British newspapers have taken a circulation hit after an ABC inquiry revealed their bulk drop figures were inaccurate.

The affected mastheads are The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, The London Evening Standard, and the Financial Times, according to The Guardian.

The ABC launched an investigation into the bulk sales of newspapers to airports and hotels earlier this year after a spot-check uncovered a discrepancy.

A distributor, not the newspapers, has been blamed for the incorrect reporting, but the newspapers still face the burden of a significant circulation drop – 324,000 copies or 6.5% in the case of The Daily Telegraph – which is an untimely blow in a market where overall circulation is already on the slide.

Broadcaster poised to offer innovative content deal

April 27, 2009

AN innovative content-sharing deal is on the brink of being agreed between the BBC and regional British newspapers.

The BBC, for the first time, is negotiating to share its content, as well as offer journalist training facilities for regional and local UK newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat amid a painful British recession.

The British Newspaper Society says 57 local and regional newspapers have closed since 2006 because of structural challenges from Internet business models, as well as the economic downturn.

The content deal is said to include video content for the websites of local newspapers.

Newspapers would also be allowed to  provide the BBC’s own iPlayer video-viewing technology, giving the BBC a substantially enhanced distribution model for its software.

The Guardian website reports a similar content-sharing deal has already been struck with Independent Television (ITV) but the BBC deal goes several steps further.

The public broadcaster is also said to be prepared to share its audio content with community and local radio stations. 

A senior BBC source  told The Guardian: “In difficult times, the BBC is casting the partnership net wider than the broadcasting sector to also include other local and national news media.

“The industry needs to pull together to weather the financial storm,” he told The Guardian.

“While the BBC is also facing significant economic challenges, it can play a valuable role in underpinning public service broadcasting, and in helping to ensure wider choice and diversity, at a time when the industry is grappling with huge strategic challenges.”

Canny Scots stay in profit amid ads slump

March 12, 2009

MEDIA group Johnston Press – owner of The Scotsman newspaper – has reported a 28.1 per cent fall in pre-tax profits, due to a slump in advertising revenue. The company, which also publishes the Evening News, achieved pre-tax profits of STG98.8m last year, with company debt standing a STG476.8m.

Newspaper circulation revenue fell by 1 per cent while its digital business stacked on 31.1 per cent growth, earning nearly STG20 million.

Cost cutting would occur through this year, its chief executive, John Fry, said.

Another British publisher, MEN Media, publisher of the Manchester Evening News, has said it will shed 150 jobs. It is braced for an 85 per cent fall in profits when its financial year ends on March 31.