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thelondonpaper’s closure – tell the rivals or readers first?

August 21st, 2009Posted by in Newspapers

Journalism.co.uk couldn’t help but part with 50p on the way back from London last night after seeing the Evening Standard seller’s newspaper boards at Victoria Station loudly declaring the death of newspaper rival thelondonpaper.

The front page was also dedicated to the story: “Free London paper to close”, “Murdoch axes loss-making title”, “Staff shocked at sudden decision”.

(This must be the new ‘positive’ direction for the paper Geordie Greig mentioned when he took over as editor in February)

Still the ES, as far as the print edition yesterday went, refrained from commenting further on the demise of a rival. And it must have been tempting given thelondonpaper’s full-page advert last January, which taunted the ES over its sale for ‘the price of a chocolate bar’.

As a collector’s edition – the last will be issued on September 18 – Journalism.co.uk also picked up yesterday’s thelondonpaper. No mention of the closure in print (perhaps news was released after it had gone to print – anyone who sees today’s edition is welcome to correct me) and it seems to be business as usual on the website. Journalism.co.uk towers received the release from News International around lunchtime yesterday, which begs the question: is it right to let your rivals and the rest of the industry know before your readers (and, indeed, staff – see yesterday’s NMA report about new launches for thelondonpaper website and the recent job ads for online staff)?

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  • http://natts.com Dave Nattriss

    You can read today and every other edition of thelondonpaper so far, for free, at http://www.thelondonepaper.com (note the ‘e’).

    The *proposed* closure got a small mention on the business page today, and a subtle on in one of the sports columns at the back of the paper.

    Apparently the editor only found out on Tuesday evening that the paper was to go (after returning from a holiday on Monday), and vast majority staff found out by being told in person on Thursday lunchtime (as soon as that day’s edition had gone to press – i.e. too late to announce it in the paper that day). An e-mail was sent to the whole of NI at virtually the same time, which was then no doubt forward to the ES by disloyal NI employees, and the press release went out at that point too. Redundancy packages were issued to regular staff today.

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