Newly-ennobled Lebedev wields axe at Evening Standard

Will the new post-Covid normal have amy newspapers in it?

The London Evening Standard, which is given away at tube and train stations and some supermarkets, is cutting a third of its workforce including a load of commercial jobs (my spies tell me there aren’t many journalists left anyway although 69 are apparently due for the axe). Sounds dramatic until you read that it currently employs 341 people.

But the timing could hardly be worse for owner Evgeny Lebedev who, for some reason or other, has just been given a peerage in UK PM Boris Johnson;s recent “crony” list. Boris’ brother got one too for reasons which aren’t entirely clear.

Lebedev is a leading socialite (and the son of a former KGB agent) who does support a number of good causes although he also extends his munificence to politicians, including the odd away-cation for Boris.

Daily Mail

And there’s a limit to how much money you can lose. Lebedev’s other media title the Independent is seemingly thriving (all such descriptions are relative) as a digital product and this looks the way the Standard will go, although, for now, it will still be published. But as central London is currently deserted, one wonders for how long.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.