Media journalists have spent a lot of time investigating a new London newspaper launch which is beginning to look like a mirage – The London Weekly.
Press Gazette too has been searching in vain for evidence that this project is for real. Frankly we’re reluctant to spend much more of our precious time investigating it, but here’s a quick update on where we are two days before it is due to hit the streets with a circulation of 250,000 copies.
There is still no sign of an office where its claimed 50-strong editorial staff are based, and no editorial telephone numbers.
The advertising telephone number now has a recorded message stating that this number is “currently inactive”.
No-one has returned the messages we left when the number was taking messages.
And no-one has answered Press Gazette’s questions, sent via email to marketing person Paul Morris, which included: How many journalists are you employing? Do you have a dummy edition we could see? Where will you be distributed? What’s your business plan?
Rival publishers would have expected to have heard whispers about circulation, distribution and printing plans by now but have heard nothing. They are not taking The London Weekly seriously at all.
The Guardian has tracked down one of the many “staff” listed on the paper’s website: Simon Glazin, who says he submitted some work but hasn’t been paid and was surprised to have been listed on the staff.
Journalism.co.uk has found out that there is a new editor, Alan Mills, and has spoken to a human being on the telephone who is involved in the project – so well done them! Head of display Angus Auden assures them it is not a “wind up” and says: “There are a lot of people in offices all over the place.”
It would take the KGB investigative skills of Alexander Lebedev to get to the bottom of this one. Something tells me he isn’t too concerned about it.