Monday, July 04, 2005
UK: evening paper drops website staff
MediaGuardian reports that Associated New Media (ANM), parent company of the London Evening Standard, has cut the paper's online staff fearing that the free website was stealing readers from the paid paper. ANM eliminated city news, will publish only a few articles that are printed in the daily, and is redirecting the site's energies into its entertainment section, ThisisLondon, as well as into its online dating service. The Evening Standard launched its free commuter paper, Standard Lite, six months ago which has contributed to a 6,000 paid copies increase. ANM's decided to scratch most of the website after a survey by News International that determined that 93,000 readers would "potentially" stop buying the paper if they could get most of the news for free online. Business-wise, this could be a strategic move. Chances are, Londoners will easily find other free sources for city news, but by refocusing its resources in its entertainment site, ANM could make ThisisLondon the city's go-to source, enticing its advertisers to follow.
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