London Evening Standard to close daily newspaper, introduce new weekly publication

Newspaper has been hit by the introduction of phone signal on the Underground and fewer commuters due to growth in working from home

London’s Evening Standard has announced plans to shut its daily newspaper and replace it with a new weekly publication.

The newspaper has been hit hard by the introduction of phone signal on the London Underground, a shortage of commuters owing to the growth of working from home and changing consumer habits.

The Standard has lost £84.5m (€99m) in the past six years, according to its accounts, and is reliant on funding from its part-owner Evgeny Lebedev to survive. Its other shareholders include a bank with close links to the Saudi government.

Paul Kanareck, the newspaper’s chairman, told staff on Wednesday morning: “The substantial losses accruing from the current operations are not sustainable. Therefore, we plan to consult with our staff and external stakeholders to reshape the business, return to profitability and secure the long-term future of the number one news brand in London.”

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He said the company planned to introduce “a brand new weekly newspaper later this year and consider options for retaining ES Magazine with reduced frequency” and to increase focus on growing its website.

He added: “A proposed new weekly newspaper would replace the daily publication, allowing for more in-depth analysis of the issues that matter to Londoners, and serve them in a new and relevant way by celebrating the best London has to offer, from entertainment guides to lifestyle, sports, culture and news and the drumbeat of life in the world’s greatest city.

“Although, this process may be unsettling, our goal is to replicate our previous success with our sister title, the Independent, which has seen enduring growth in readership and commercial success following its own strategic transition in 2016,” Mr Kanareck said.