Standard survives freebie onslaught as London Lite nears 400,000 mark

The Evening Standard claims it has survived London's free newspaper war relatively unscathed so far.

Associated has revealed that so far it is only 7,000 copies a day down on the expected sale.

Last Wednesday, Associated Newspapers launched a free afternoon newspaper – London Lite – with a distribution of 400,000. And this Monday, News International launched its long-planned London free daily thelondonpaper.

The Evening Standard has responded by increasing its price to 50p and emphasising its distance from the freesheets with a new motto above the masthead: "London's quality newspaper."

Associated today revealed that London Lite has already virtually hit its 400,000 distribution target – achieving a pick-up of 398,000 out of a print run of 406,000.

Audit Bureau of Circulations figures released today revealed that the Standard had a successful August – possibly fuelled by coverage of the London terror alerts.

Its circulation of 313,181 was four per cent up month on month and one per cent up year on year.
Editor Veronica Wadley said: "August is traditionally a quiet month for newspapers with many readers on holiday. Despite this, the Evening Standard has seen an uplift in its sales.

"With big breaking stories, Londoners turn to the Evening Standard – in August that was the bomb plot, and the latest ABC figures testify to this. The paper sets the news agenda for the capital and speaks out for Londoners."

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