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Redundancies loom as Editorial Print and Digital Teams at Evening Standard Merge

George Osborne, editor of the Evening Standard, has announced an imminent round of redundancies for the newsbrand’s editorial teams as it merges its digital and print operations.

“Together, in the last couple of years, we’ve redesigned the paper and invested heavily in our digital output,” Osborne wrote in an email to staff today.

“That’s why our print circulation has stayed steady as other papers have declined, our online readership has grown hugely and we’ve won awards. Now we need to adapt again.

“For, like everyone else in our industry, we are facing a tough economic market with rising costs. We need to ensure the Standard evolves to be profitable and keeps pace with our fast-changing society.”

According to the latest ABC figures, the London Evening Standard – a free paper – had a circulation of just over 874,000 copies in March, recording no change year-on-year.

This follows news reports earlier this week that Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of the Evening Standard and the Independent, is in talks to sell London Live TV station to That’s Media.  That’s Media has already scooped up 20 local licences  and is well versed in the local TV market.

The license for London Live TV, the capital’s first dedicated TV channel, was won by the Russian British businessman in 2013, and was part of a plan by the then-Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to launch local TV channels across the UK.   However, the channel never managed to make a profit.

Having used the station for many campaigns I have to agree the audiences are low, however much of the programming has been very good.  In particular when we used the station for a recent retail campaign the quality of the response was higher than more mainstream stations.  When looking to upweight London (particularly targeting males) when running a national TV campaign the station certainly offered a lower entry point to the market.

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