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Thursday 10th of September 2009
August 20, 2009    

News International considers closure of The London Paper

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by Kay Murchie

Free evening newspaper, The London Paper, is facing closure after its owner, News International, commenced a 30-day consultation with its 60 staff following the paper’s pre-tax loss of £12.9 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2008.

The paper, which was established in September 2006, had a circulation of more than half a million last month but is facing stiff competition from Associated Newspapers’ London Lite, which was established one month before.

According to one media analyst, there is only room for one free evening newspaper in London.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News International’s parent company News Corporation, said it will start charging for news content online.

However, this was criticised by Lorna Tilbian, media analyst at Numis Securities, who said: “You can’t give it away on the streets and then start charging for it online.”

Commenting on the possible closure, James Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive Europe and Asia for News Corporation, said: “The strategy at News International over the past 18 months has been to streamline our operations and focus investment on our core titles.”

“The team at The London Paper has made great strides in a short space of time with innovative design and a fresh approach but the performance of the business in a difficult free evening newspaper sector has fallen short of expectations. “

“We have taken a tough decision that reflects our priorities as a business,” added Mr Murdoch.

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