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The London Evening Standard is a free local daily newspaper, published in tabloid format in Londonmarker, England. It is the dominant regional evening paper for London and the southeast of England, with coverage of national and international news and a strong emphasis on City of Londonmarker finance. In October 2009 the paper ended a 180-year history of paid circulation and doubled its circulation as part of a change in its business plan.


The paper was launched as the Standard on 21 May 1827. The early owner of the paper was Charles Baldwin. It was under the ownership of James Johnstone that The Standard became a morning paper from 29 June 1857, with The Evening Standard being published from 11 June 1859. The Standard gained eminence for its detailed foreign news, with its reporting events of the American Civil War (1861–1865), of the Austro-Prussian Warmarker of 1866, and of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, all contributing to a rise in circulation.

The Evening Standard has sponsored the annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards since the 1950s. The newspaper has also awarded the annual Evening Standard Pub of the Year (discontinued 2007) and the Evening Standard British Film Awards since the 1970s.


On 21 January 2009, Russianmarker businessman and former KGBmarker agent Alexander Lebedev agreed to purchase 75.1% of the paper for £1. The paper was formerly published by Associated Newspapers Ltd., a division of Daily Mail and General Trust. Associated Newspapers also publishes the national papers Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, Metro, a free morning paper distributed at stations, and London Lite, a free evening paper.

In Spring 2009 there are three editions each day, from Monday to Friday excluding Bank holidays. The first of these "News Extra" goes to print at 10:00 a.m. and is available around 11:00 a.m. in central London slightly later in its more outlying circulation areas (such as Kent). A second edition "West End Final" goes to print at 3:00 p.m. and the "Late Night Final" goes to print at 5:00 p.m. and is available in the central area from about 6:00 p.m. There is often considerable variation between the editions, particularly with the front page lead and following few pages, including the Londoner's Diary, though features and reviews stay the same. The page changes are indicated by stars in the bottom left hand corner of each page. Two stars for the second edition, three stars for the third.

May 2009 relaunch

In May 2009, the paper launched a series of poster ads, each of which prominently featured the word 'Sorry' in the paper's then-masthead font. These ads offered various apologies for past editorial approaches, such as 'Sorry for losing touch'. None of the posters mentioned the Evening Standard by name, although they featured the paper's Eros logo. Ex-editor Veronica Wadley criticised the "Pravda-style" campaign saying it humiliated the paper's staff and insulted its readers. The campaign was designed by McCann Erickson.

On 11 May 2009, the paper relaunched as the London Evening Standard, with a new layout and masthead. The paper marked the relaunch by giving away 650,000 free copies on the day.

October 2009: freesheet

After a long history of paid circulation, on 12 October 2009 the London Evening Standard became a free newspaper.

Editorial style

The current editor of the Standard is Geordie Greig. Veronica Wadley was the paper's editor for seven years, from 2002 to 2 February 2009. Max Hastings was editor from 1996 until his retirement in 2002.

Although, under Associated Newspaper's ownership, the Standard shared the same Editor in Chief, Paul Dacre, as the Daily Mail, it maintained a quite different style from the latter's "middle England" outlook, having to appeal to its local, though cosmopolitan readership. The Standard has a circulation of around 263,000, high for a local paper,(compared to The Times 's national circulation of 640,000 and the Mail 's of around 2,300,000).

The Evening Standard although a Regional newspaper for London, also covers national and international news, though with an emphasis on London-centred news (especially in its features pages), covering building developments, property prices, traffic schemes, politics, the congestion charge and, in the Londoner's Diary page, gossip on the social scene. It also occasionally runs campaigns centred around local issues that national newspapers do not cover in long detail.

It has a tradition of providing quality arts coverage, and is noted for its visual art critic, Brian Sewell, more recently also a television personality, who is renowned for his outspoken dismissal of Britart and the Turner Prize. This accords with the general readership, but was so unpopular with leading figures in the art world that they signed a letter demanding his dismissal. (He is still there.)

Its headline writers have been accused of having a "doom-and-gloom" agenda, and it is quick to boldly announce possible tube and train strikes, which in the event often do not happen as settlement is reached beforehand (which provides the opportunity for another headline).

2008 London Mayoral Election

During the 2008 London mayoral election, the Evening Standard - and particularly its correspondent Andrew Gilligan - published reports in support of Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, including frequent frontpage headlines condemning Ken Livingstone. This famously included the notable (and arguably misleading) headline, "Suicide bomb backer runs Ken's campaign!".

Freesheet and supplements

The Evening Standard has a fleet of delivery vans painted in a distinctive orange and white livery
On 14 December 2004 Associated Newspapers launched a freesheet edition of the Evening Standard called Standard Lite to help boost circulation. This had 48 pages, compared with about 80 in the main paper, which also had a supplement on most days.

In August 2006, the freesheet was renamed London Lite. It is designed to be especially attractive to younger female readers, and features a wide range of lifestyle articles but less news and business news than the main paper. It was initially only available between 11.30am and 2.30pm at Evening Standard vendors and in the central area, but is now available in the evening from its street distributors. With the sale of the Evening Standard, but not the London Lite, to Alexander Lebedev on 21 January 2009, the ownership links between the Standard and the Lite were broken.

On Fridays, the Evening Standard includes a free glossy lifestyle magazine, ES. This has moved from more general articles to concentrate on glamour, with features on the rich, powerful and famous. On Wednesdays, readers can pick up a free copy of the Homes & Property supplement, edited by Janice Morley, which includes London property listings as well as articles from lifestyle journalists including Barbara Chandler, Katie Law and Alison Cork.

An entertainment guide supplement Metro Life (previously called Hot Tickets) was launched in September 2002. This was a what's on guide with listings of cinemas and theatres in and around London, and was given away on Thursdays. It was discontinued on 1 September 2005.

The paper also supplies the occasional CDs and DVDs for promotions. It is also known to give Londoners a chance to win exclusive tickets to film premieres and sports tournament tickets, such as the Wimbledonmarker Ladies Singles Final.

The Black Book, a list of London's 1000 most influential people in 2008, included for example Simon Cowell & Philip Bourchier O'Ferrall.


The newspaper's website,, carries some of the stories from the Evening Standard as well as promotions, reviews and competitions. It also include a number of blogs by Evening Standard writers such as restaurant critic Charles Campion, theatre critic Kieron Quirke and music critic Richard Godwin.A separate website contains images of each page of the print edition (two versions) and supplements.


1827: Stanley Lees Giffard
1846: Robert Knox
1857: Unknown
1860: Charles Williams and Pritchard
1863: Thomas Hamber
1870: John Gorst
1874: W. H. Mudford
1897: S. Pryor
1906: William Woodward
1912: James A. Kilpatrick
1914: D. M. Sutherland
1916: Arthur Mann
1920: D. Phillips
1923: E. Raymond Thompson
1928: George Gilliat
1933: Percy Cudlipp
1938: Frank Owen
1942: Michael Foot
1943: Sydney Elliott
1945: Bert Gunn
1952: Percy Elland
1959: Charles Wintour
1976: Simon Jenkins
1978: Charles Wintour
1980: Louis Kirby
1986: John Leese
1991: Paul Dacre
1992: Stewart Steven
1996: Max Hastings
2002: Veronica Wadley
2009: Geordie Greig


  1. British Library. (2000) "Concise History of the British Newspaper in the Nineteenth Century". Accessed 13 April 2007.
  2. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Eleventh Edition. Cambridge: At the University Press, 1911. Vol. XIX, Mun to Oddfellows. Article on Newspapers, pp.544–581
  3. Evening Standard launches ad campaign to say sorry to Londoners Roy Greenslade Blog,, 4 May 2009
  4. Ex-editor Wadley criticises Standard's 'Pravda-style' relaunch, 11 May 2009
  5. London Evening Standard relaunch - who's sorry now? Organ grinder Blog,, 11 May 2009
  6. Evening Standard to be free paper, a 2 October 2009 BBC News article
  7. Audit Bureau of Circulation Q4 2006

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