thelondonpaper_0Today, Friday September 18, the last edition of thelondonpaper was published. Since 2006 the paper distributed around 500,000 daily copies in London and had 1.1 million daily readers in 2009.

Free papers come and go at a rapid pace, but because this one was owned by no one else but Rupert Murdoch, “mr. Big & Ugly Media” himself, the closure got maximum exposure.

I am not saying that “1.1 million people can’t be wrong” but the general sentiment in the UK press smells like “gloating”. David Prosser in The Independent is typical:

“Indeed, the surprise with The London Paper is that it has survived this long, especially as the title was launched for no real commercial reason other than to get up the noses of Daily Mail & General Trust, owner of Metro and London Lite.” (The Independent)

Prosser also suggested that thelondonpaper and London Lite should have merged, something earlier advocated by The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade and by Peter Preston in the Observer.

A typical response to the death of this newspaper is the article in The Guardian, particularly because of the ’smart’ use of photography.

I covered this before (see previous post) and my analysis of the London newspaper war is not that of Murdoch spoiling the market for poor innocent Associated Newspapers. It a permanent and often dirty battle with all parties (Associated, Murdoch, Desmond) involved in spoiling (Metro, Standard Lite, London Lite), exclusive contracts (Metro’s subway contract), legal actions (Office of Fair Trading complaints), huge discounts and accusations of bogus circulation.

With two instead of three papers – joined at the hip by Associated’s (part) ownership – the question remains whether these two can make a profit. The are no data on London Lite’s losses – all free- while the Evening Standard – a paper with an impressive (50% – 140,000 copies) bulk circulation – is not making any profit now.

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