The owners of City AM have revealed they are open to a sale of the London business newspaper.
City AM is independently owned, with 50% of shares owned by a Dutch consortium and 25% each owned by chief executive Jens Torpe and managing director Lawson Muncaster.
They issued a statement on Monday afternoon saying they have been in discussions about prospective investment, with those conversations continuing.
But they added they are “now also open to a sale” of City AM through advisors FRP Advisory.
Muncaster said: “As London continues to bounce back from the pandemic, the time has come to think about the next chapter of City AM’s story.
“As a local paper at the heart of the financial universe, the brand is perfectly positioned to expand into new areas and develop new revenue streams that take advantage of the new media landscape.”
The statement suggested that a buyer would have an opportunity to “build on the brand’s recognition and rapidly diversify and expand City AM’s revenue streams”.
City AM readership and post-Covid changes
The newspaper ended its Friday print edition in January as footfall in the City of London remained low at the end of the week post-Covid. However, new digital products were created to go live on Fridays instead.
In print, City AM distributed an average of 67,714 copies each Monday to Thursday in May, according to ABC. This was down by a fifth compared to January 2020, pre-Covid. The newspaper went on a print hiatus for 18 months during the pandemic as many commuters stopped travelling and worked from home, returning in September 2021.
Online, the newsbrand reports receiving between 1.8 million and two million unique visitors each month, more than three quarters of whom are based in the UK.
Both its print and online audiences are mainly ABC1 (upper and middle class) with a “higher than average” disposable income, it also said.
City AM editor Andy Silvester told Press Gazette’s Future of Media Explained podcast last year that the publisher had come out of the pandemic “in a stronger place as a media organisation, as a newsroom, than we were going in because we were forced to accelerate our digital transformation”.
As to whether or not freesheets can survive following changed working patterns, Silvester added: “I fundamentally think that they can and they will and that if they’re done properly and done well you can keep an engaged audience…”
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