News International closing thelondonpaper

News International is to close thelondonpaper, according to the media Guardian .

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

According to the Guardian:

The London Paper recorded a pre-tax loss of £12.9m in the year to 29 June 2008 on a turnover of £14.1m. The paper had a free distribution of 500,348 copies in July, about 100,000 more than London Lite.

However, Brand Republic says:

The company did post a rise (75%) in turnover, up from £8.04m to £14.08m for the year to 30 June 2008.

To me this closure makes sense following Rupert Murdoch’s insistence on providing content only to those who pay for it. That and a drive to cut costs and falling advertising revenue, will see the better of London’s evening freesheets close in mid-September.

The remaining evening papers will now have just a two way squabble over readers, and this may well lead to a decrease in the quality of the newspapers over a long period of time, especially journalistically.

Will this indicate a paradigm shift for old media, or is it just a blip on the landscape, and what will it mean for thelondonpaper’s music event due to be held 16-17 September?

So I wonder, is free doomed to fail?

Let me know what you think!

5 thoughts on “News International closing thelondonpaper

  1. Be interesting to see how/if London Lite changes some of its sections, format and content…

  2. The way we consume content is changing. I know longer rely on the printed word, but use various websites accessible both online and via my mobile handset to keep me informed in real-time. Twitter is also a major player in the way I consume news content for free, so the London Paper was used rarely, mostly when the stories downloaded weren’t of particular interest or my battery was running low.

    I don’t believe free news is doomed to fail. There has always been a gap between the retail price of the print copy and the actual cost per issue, but this has traditionally been bridged by the advertising included in each issue. In the case of the London Paper, the advertising was even more important as there was no physical sale revenue.

    The question is how media companies will adapt to monetise their readership. the advertorials now being online e.g. Craiglist, Dating Direct and eBay, the traditional print has been slow to keep up and as a result the gap between revenues and operational costs is growing.

    I personally think the opportunity lies in mobile and monetising the way readers have an unprecedented ability to consume, interact and comment on not only the reported news, but also the advertisements. The challenge is perhaps convincing the advertisers to invest in a partly unknown medium when budgets are being cut.

  3. Great site…keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read…:)

    -Bill-Bartmann

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