3pm update: It has emerged that up to 20 jobs are to go as the Evening Standard streamlines its edition structure to just the West End final.
The move means the Standard will go off-stone in the early afternoon, hitting distribution points from mid-afternoon in time for the commuter rush.
As well as saving money, the move will mean an end for many Evening Standard journalists to their notorious 4am starts.
The move means the Standard will go off-stone at 12.30pm and could be on newsstands by around 2pm. Editor Geordia Greig told Press Gazette that there will be considerable editorial changes made to the paper throughout the print run meaning that there will effectively be a second edition later in the day, although all copies will carry the words West End Final.
The print-run will stay at 600,000 copies when the change takes place, from 4 January, in a sign that Standard executives are confident the free daily is popular enough to be distributed in the shorter time window.
Greig said: “The response to our recent decision to make the Evening Standard a free quality newspaper has been overwhelming. This decision will mean our news is even more up to date, and more copies will be available for home-going commuters. We are delighted to continue to be a pioneering newspaper and happy to be able to give all our readers an even better quality newspaper.”
Managing director Andrew Mullins said: “Some people doubted that we would continue to publish such a high quality newspaper when we went free, but they were wrong. Readers and advertisers have been magnificent in supporting us and we are sure that they will now welcome this decision to enhance the quality of our newspaper even further.”