New London Newspaper In The New Year?

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 109 months ago
New London Newspaper In The New Year?

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Much like the War on Terror, the freesheet war keeps defying predictions that an end to hostilities is nigh. A new weekly London newspaper is on course for a launch in the New Year, according to The Guardian.

Backed by unnamed investors and named The London Weekly, the freesheet is set to be, as one might glean from its title, a weekly paper distributed in London, and is angling itself, in a statement somewhat at odds with reality, as the "only free newspaper in London covering light entertainment, gossip, politics, health, music and fashion". A print-run of 250,000 will be distributed outside Tube and rail stations on Fridays and Saturdays, as the proprietors attempt to muscle in on the weekend, hitherto a backwater for freebie titles, and a market currently dominated by traditional paid-for papers, many of whom register their best sales on a Saturday.

While specialist titles such as Sport, Shortlist and Stylist have proved successful in recent years, the last time a weekly free London-only title launched was in 2005, when The London Line appeared; it closed by the year's end, and is little remembered by Londoners, aside from the pigeons who converted the specially-installed boxes around the capital into nests.

In a busy year for the struggling industry, we've already lost the London Lite and the London Paper, welcomed a new editor to the Standard, which promptly went through a confusing ad campaign, a comprehensive re-design, and, finally, abandoned its cover price entirely. Seeing a gap in such changeable conditions, the London Weekly will aim itself at a market segment vacated by the defunct titles, and is planning to charge similar ad rates. It's to be hoped it doesn't follow in the same sub-standard, 'sleb-obsessed, journalistic gutters that its antecendents waded in; as Stewart Brand almost said: "Information wants to be free, but it doesn't have to stink".

Last Updated 30 November 2009