Sunday, October 4, 2009

Russian owners decide to give away Standard

For the first time since it was founded in 1827, the London Evening Standard is to be given away free of charge on the streets of the capital and in the city's schools, universities and offices.

The radical change in business strategy represents a major gamble by Alexander Lebedev, the Russian billionaire who acquired London's only paid-for evening newspaper earlier this year, when he bought a majority shareholding for £1 from Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail. The plan, which comes into effect on 12 October, involves more than doubling the distribution of the paper to 600,000 and attempting to recover the lost circulation revenue through increased advertising.

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