The Evening Standard has dropped “London” from its masthead, introduced emojis into the weather and put the business section on pink pages in its first redesign in a decade.
The new look daily newspaper has gone from a muted yellow to a bright red, both in its new single decker masthead and the livery of its stands and distributors.
On page two, a five-day weather forecast now includes emojis as a quick summary of how to feel about what nature has in store – including a smiley “pile of poo” emoji for when it’s set to rain.
Among the bigger changes is a rebranding of the Londoner’s Diary to The Londoner, now edited by Charlotte Edwards, while showbiz section West End has been transformed into A-List.
Osborne told The Drum’s Ian Burrell: “I want the diary to be the place you go to find out what the beau monde of London are up to and to break stories more than it has done.”
He added: “My view is that your Evening Standard reader wants to know about Kim Jong-un but also wants to know about Kim Kardashian. You can pitch to both interests.
“You can talk about Brexit but you can also tell people the best place to get breakfast in London.”
Mirroring the Financial Times, the paper’s business pages are now pink (although this is a printed background colour that doesn’t run to the edges).
Reader’s letters will now be replied to by the editor, who signs off as George, or “one of our team”, Osborne tweeted today in announcing the changes.
Arts and Culture content is now on more pages as part of the redesign, which also includes an “expanded and enhanced” Travel section, two pages of puzzles and a new cartoon strip.
Osborne tweeted: “Our new look Evening Standard: a modern, confident paper for a modern, confident city. Open, international, pro-business, socially progressive – speaking to London but also for our values across the UK and the world. We’re turning up the volume.”
He told the Drum: “People want to hear the voice that is pro-business, international, socially liberal, is not angry or backward-looking or nostalgic or looking within Britain but looking out to the world from London and that feels to me like both the identity of the city but also a place where many millions of Britons are and want people to speak out on their behalf.”
He added: “The fact that I decided this was an exciting thing to do, edit the Evening Standard, is because I have faith in the print product and I have faith in newspapers. I look abroad to the US and I see a revival in quality journalism there and I think there is a space here.”
The former Chancellor of the Exchequer took over as Standard editor in mid-May last year. The Evening Standard distributes 888,000 free copies a day (ABC figures for January).
The Drum reports that it generates about £70m in annual profits and has been profitable for the past two years.
Picture: Press Gazette