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The Evening Standard is set to transition from a daily print edition to a weekly format, marking a significant shift for the London-based newspaper. Established in 1827,

the paper became free of charge in 2009. In an email to staff on Wednesday, the paper cited increased home working and the availability of wi-fi on the Tube as factors negatively impacting its circulation.

The new weekly edition will replace the current daily publication. Over the past five years, the paper's circulation has plummeted from 850,000 to 250,000, resulting in a financial loss of £84.5 million over the past six years. Speculation about the paper's future has been rife for some time.

The Evening Standard, originally launched as the Standard 197 years ago with an evening edition added in 1859, was acquired by businessman and former Russian agent Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny in 2009. Upon taking over, they boosted circulation from about 250,000 by making it free and relying on advertising revenue. Despite this, the circulation has since fallen back to around 2009 levels.

Last year, new Standard editor Dylan Jones stated he accepted the position on the condition that the print edition would not be shut down. However, he later admitted he "never" reads print newspapers, as reported by the Press Gazette.

The Lebedevs, who also bought the Independent in 2010, discontinued its print edition entirely six years later. The email to Standard staff mentioned the goal of mirroring the success of the Independent, which has seen growth in readership and commercial success since its transition to a digital-only format in 2016.

Currently, the Evening Standard's digital platforms attract twelve million visitors monthly, with half of this traffic coming from outside London and overseas. The new commercial strategy aims to strengthen the connection between the paper’s digital presence and its forthcoming weekly print edition. The emphasis will be on delivering high-quality content to a wide audience and collaborating creatively with advertisers.

The company has not yet disclosed details regarding potential job losses related to this transition. Photo by Ellywa, Wikimedia commons.