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January 30, 2013

Upmarket free weekly aims to take over the world after London launch

By Carolina Are

An upmarket free weekly news magazine had is official London launch last week and has ambitions to have a presence in 45 cities around the world.

The World Weekly claims to be independent from a “specific political ideology” or “religious/non religious view” or a particular culture. Its aim is to enable readers to make up their own opinions on news.

According to managing director Rory O’Grady, The World Weekly selects articles from worldwide sources in order to offer readers a "multidimensional view" on current affairs.

O’Grady said: “First we identify the most interesting stories per region and then we find the best article to cover them – again the objective here is not just to report what is going on but rather to help the reader make sense of the world we live in.”

He added that the magazine often finds great articles from “unlikely sources” .

“To challenge the traditional newsroom model, so to avoid a single minded approach and the risk of cultural prejudice, we do not have a single editor. Instead we have adopted an open news room approach whereby the editors rotate and collaborate.”

The World Weekly’s team includes former deputy editor of the Sunday Times Magazine Cathy Galvin, launch editor James Geary, Peter Guest and Karen Bartlett, former senior editor at the BBC and The Times.

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O’Grady said: “Our editorial objective is to inform and challenge key decision-makers in major economic hubs around the world with the hope of fostering positive change.”

The magazine is backed by chairman of RLM Finsbury Roland Rudd and former Government minister Lord Mervyn Davies amongst other entrepreneurs.

The World Weekly is self-marketed through a ‘freemium’ distribution model in corporate institutions across London as well as travel hubs, hotels, member clubs and so on.

O’Grady said: “We are also doing a street promotion campaign in targeted areas around central London using young actors in yellow jackets and bowler hats to build brand awareness and better engage the reader.”

The World Weekly was launched in November 2012 and has established a circulation of 75,000, but last week was chosen as the official hard-copy launch date.

O’Grady said: “Once we have reached a point of financial viability in London we plan to launch in New York and Hong Kong. Our long term vision is to be present in 45 of the world's leading international cities.”

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