View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
August 7, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:29am

Evening Standard set to cut staff as business among hardest hit by Covid-19 crisis

By Freddy Mayhew

The Evening Standard is set to cut staff after its business model was left in tatters by the coronavirus crisis and UK lockdown.

Up to 115 staff are affected, including 69 in editorial, according to the FT. This is equal to a 40% staffing cut in the newsroom, which has some 167 journalists, the business title reported.

The Standard furloughed staff and cut salaries in April, also temporarily suspending its weekly ES Magazine supplement, and switched from handouts of the free daily newspaper to home delivery.

The lockdown’s impact on commuting and advertising struck at the heart of the publisher’s business, which relied on pick-up at transport hubs for distribution and was funded almost entirely by ads.

Under lockdown its distribution has fallen by 40%, from 800,000 copies pre-pandemic to just under 500,000 as of June (ABC figures).

The title has already begun to shift towards digital and appointed a new editor in Emily Sheffield, who began last month. George Osborne, editor for the past three years, has stayed on as editor-in-chief.

An Evening Standard spokesperson said: “The proposed restructuring underway at the Evening Standard is a result of the difficult market conditions that have affected the entire media industry over recent times; these challenging conditions have been further accentuated by Covid-19.

Content from our partners
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange
Journalism can be relentless: But overworking could be fatal

“However, the changes also reflect the evolution of the Standard’s business priorities which are being defined by the changing behaviours and demands of our readers and customers.

“Under the new management team the Evening Standard will be focused on building its digital and mobile offering alongside print, whilst also developing a live events business with other new initiatives to be announced.”

The proposed job cuts were revealed to staff on Friday, reports say.

The Evening  Standard is owned by Russian billionaire Evgeny Lebedev, who was nominated for a peerage last week.

In 2018, the latest available accounts, Evening Standard Ltd made a pre-tax loss of £11.6m on turnover of £63.9m. The year before it lost £11.8m on turnover of £65.4m.

Picture: Reuters/Hannah McKay

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network