London's Evening Standard to scrap daily print edition for weekly publication

London's Evening Standard is set to scrap its daily newspaper after almost 200 years, in favour of a weekly publication.

The newspaper, first published as The Standard in 1827 before the introduction of its evening edition in 1859, is currently circulated for free at underground stations around the capital from Monday to Friday.

But in an email to staff - seen by the PA news agency - the paper's chairman Paul Kanareck said it had been making "substantial losses", prompting the need for a change.

The memo said fewer commuters travelling through London following the COVID pandemic, changing consumer behaviours, and the introduction of wifi on parts of the London Underground had affected the newspaper.

Pre-COVID, the paper was distributing around 700,000 copies, in comparison to around 274,000 copies last month, according to figures by the Press Gazette.

"We plan to consult with our staff and external stakeholders to reshape the business, return to profitability and secure the long-term future of the number one news brand in London," the email read.

Mr Kanareck proposed the new weekly newspaper would include more in-depth analysis and relevant lifestyle, sports and culture guides and news.

Read more from Sky News:
Royal Mail owner agrees to £5.3bn takeover
Deputy of FTX jailed
UK has most expensive diesel in Europe

He said: "Although this process may be unsettling, our goal is to replicate our previous success with our sister title, The Independent, which has seen enduring growth in readership and commercial success following its own strategic transition in 2016."

The Evening Standard is owned by Evgeny Lebedev, who brought the paper for £1 back in 2009.

A shareholder in The Independent and the son of Russian oligarch and former KGB agent, Alexander Lebedev, he was appointed to the House of Lords in November 2020.

The move to end the Evening Standard's daily run comes at a turbulent time for the wider print and news industry, which has seen numerous job cuts and company restructures in recent years.

Earlier this year, the publisher Reach, which owns the Daily Mirror and the Express newspapers, revealed plans to cut costs and reduce jobs as part of efforts to boost its online presence.

It said it needed to evolve to meet an "increasingly fast-paced, competitive and customer-focused digital world".

The Evening Standard has been contacted for comment.