Former Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson gets quite misty-eyed today reviewing the free Evening Standard on his round-Britain blog of regional newspaper reviews over on Holdthefrontpage.
Its devotion to proper, on-the-day, breaking news sees Dyson “greedily devouring the Standard from back to front” and saying “despite its switch in ownership, the Evening Standard is currently still a great paper, an important part of London’s heritage and one the nation needs to shout much louder about wanting to keep at this level”.
There are 600,000-plus copies a night of the Standard currently flying off the distribution racks (without the need, sadly, for many of its network of vendors who seem to have largely disappeared).
It must represent an awesome vehicle for advertisers, targeting – as it does – the most affluent and influential newspaper reading audience in the UK.
If owner Alexander Lebedev can hold his nerve, and keep up the editorial quality of the Standard, I’d put money on it turning a healthy profit well within his three-year game-plan.
It is a far superior product to the two free newspapers – London Lite and thelondonpaper – which it has seen off against all odds. And Steve’s right, we should rejoice in it.