Evening Standard now at 'break-even'

The Evening Standard is now believed to be around the break-even mark by some estimates, Peter Preston reports.

He wrote in his Observer column yesterday that running costs for the Standard now stand at £1.1m a week and that advertising income is at around the same level.

It follows the huge saving in distribution costs which followed the Standard going free in October.

The Lebedev-owned daily now circulates 600,000 copies a day by dumping them at distribution racks in and around London’s main transport termini each afternoon. There is now just one edition a day, the West End Final, many of the vendors have gone and there are now far fewer deliveries needed than when it was going to every newsagent in Greater London.

Standard MD Andrew Mullins told Press Gazette in October that savings from distribution and marketing cancelled out the £12.5m cover price income overnight when the paper went free.

According to the National Readership Survey, the Standard now has some 1.35m readers.

The Standard’s 600,000 daily distribution is no mean feat. Back in the days of the London free newspaper war, even with hundreds of merchandisers thelondonpaper could only manage to give away 500,000 copies a day. The Standard is flying out of the distribution racks with little need for merchandisers to shove it into people’s hands.

It looks like it could finally have found an economic model which secures its future.

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