Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Murdoch launches free daily in London

Rupert Murdoch's long awaited thelondonpaper hit the streets Monday afternoon, going head-to-head with another evening freebie, London Lite, launched a week earlier by Viscount Rothermere's Associated Newspapers. The timing of London Lite was said to be a coincidence, but many on Fleet Street saw a savvy attempt to spoil Murdoch's plans, according to Forbes. The article continues, "It's the sort of battle familiar to Fleet Street veterans like Murdoch and Rothermere, who in recent times have had to grapple with the popularity of the Internet. Yet while many have heard a death knell from the Web, the advent of free papers may prove a promising source of revenue for increasingly desperate newspaper publishers."

London's Daily Mail says that Murdoch moved up the date for launching thelondonpaper by two weeks in an attempt to beat Associated Newspapers' London Lite to market.

London's Sunday Times says the explosion of free newspapers is due to the Internet.