Lebedevs Looking for New Standard Newsroom

This week’s Estates Gazette makes interesting reading in light of today’s news about the Indy. A report in the property trade journal claims the Lebedevs are planning to move the Evening Standard from their current offices sharing with the Indy and the Mail in Kensington. Apparently they are looking for a new 40,000 square foot space in Zone 1. Will there be room for a new online-only Indy there too?

Rumours Indy / IoS Set to Close

indy

The Lebedevs look set to sell the i paper to regional publisher Johnston Press for around £24 million, escalating rumours that the Independent and the Independent on Sunday could be set to close. ESI Media, Lebedev’s company which owns the i, Indy, Sindy and Standard, admits this morning: “At this stage no decision has been made and we realise the uncertainty that this news will cause our employees and customers”. Following months of rumours, the Telegraph, Media Guardian, and the Times are all speculating that this spells the end for the Indy and Sindy.

ABC figures put the Indy’s average circulation last year at 61,000, compared to 280,000 for the i. The i is unusually profitable for a Lebedev venture, while the Indy lost £5 million last year, and London Live a further £6 million. Given the i’s content comes straight from the Indy, it doesn’t look good for the remaining Lebedev titles…

UPDATE: City Brokers Peel Hunt have put out a negative note to investors:

Potential ‘i’ deal. More print, and bad for JPR bond holders

Life at Johnston Press is never dull. Having just announced ‘a reduction of pension deficit’, JPR is now in advanced talks to acquire the i for c£24m. This looks to be a transaction multiple of c4.5x EBIT, and hence not supportive of JPR’s own current EV multiple. We cannot imagine bond holders or pension trustees will be happy. JPR had cash at hand of c£41m at H1, but gross debt of c£225m, and operating trends have been deteriorating sharply since then. We are in favour of print industry consolidation (see our Media Book published today). However, we are confused by JPR’s business strategy as a regional publisher, which has focussed on paring back print, in favour of digital. The i is an innovative product, but it is wholly print and national. Nationals is a very competitive space, with TNI amongst others rumoured to be in launch mode. Shareholder approval of this deal will be needed. 

Tatler Considering New Mark Clarke Profile

Rumour has it Tatler are looking at profiling scandal-hit Tory Mark Clarke for a second time. The society magazine infamously glammed up ten rising stars of the right back in 2008, transforming Clarke et al into “top Tory totty”. A person with knowledge of the proposed piece says any new profile would be less of a “where are they now?” type article, and more of a focus on Clarke’s recent career developments. Tatler has had its name in headlines about Tory bullying for the best part of four months. A follow up would make sense…

Peston Over-Promoting

ITV’s new political editor Robert Peston is pumping away promoting his big scoop: getting hold of Deborah Mattinson’s “secret” report on the Labour election defeat.

It would be impolite of Guido to rain on Peston’s parade, though the BBC did “reveal details” of the Mattinson report 24 hours earlier. Mattinson herself explained her findings on the Sunday Politics. The Beeb reported the detail on their news bulletins and website throughout the day yesterday.

As Mattinson went up on the Sunday Politics, she published her findings in detail over on the Progress website. A day before Peston’s scoop…

Indeed, Mattinson’s damning criticisms of Labour were first revealed by Rachel Sylvester in the Times back in December.

In fairness, Peston was the first to get hold of the actual whole report. It’s just a shame all the juicy bits had already been reported…

UPDATE: The Indy reported all the juicy quotes as far back as last October.

Guido in The Sun on Sunday

Read Guido’s column in the Sun on Sunday to discover the fate of Labour’s 20 discarded chicken suits. Don’t miss out on:

DOCTOR

  • Just what the junior doctor ordered… tax deductible Val d’Isere Doctors Winter Conference

UBER

  • Why UKIP are Uber flip-floppers

MAY

  • Theresa May swerves the opportunity to back Britain staying in the EU
  • The Labour MP who heckles Commons opponents by telling them they’ve been blocked on Twitter
  • Why the Tories are telling the LibDems to pack their bags all over again
  • Labour’s never-ending hypocrisy on zero hours contracts
  • Minister Sniffed Poppers at Cabinet Table

You can read it all today, for free, here

Muslim Women Gagged at PM’s ‘Freedom for Muslim Women’ Speech

David Cameron is speaking from a secret venue today announcing more money to boost female migrants’ language skills, in order to help them escape the “control” of men in some communities. So it looks pretty bad that Downing Street aides are preventing the Muslim women there from speaking to journalists. Sky’s Gerard Tubb is at the scene:

What was that about domineering men preventing Muslim women from speaking?

UPDATE: A No. 10 source quickly gets in touch to insist that this was simply “a timetabling issue, simple as that” and that the women were free to speak to journalists afterwards.

Guido in The Sun on Sunday

See Guido’s column in the Sun on Sunday for the BBC’s refusal to deny that they chauffeured Jihadi Sid to interviews so he could spout his pro-ISIS views on national television. Don’t miss out on:

PLOT

  • RED ON RED: Labour MPs say they are victims of a Corbynista revenge plot

MENACE

  • How George Osborne is menacing Tory ministers and MPs

RORY

  • Why armed police were called to a Tory minister’s office this week
  • BRUM BUNFIGHT: Radical left-winger Salma Yaqoob DID try to join Labour, decision now with NEC
  • Mark Reckless’ Dirty Secret

You can read it all today, for free, here

Fanatical Europhile Appointed to Ofcom Board

Outers will not be reassured by the news that Ofcom have appointed fanatical Europhile Bill Emmott to their board. Readers will remember Emmott as the ex-Economist editor who was blasted by IPSO for making a spurious claim against the Telegraph, when he wrongly accused them of publishing inaccuracies about the EU. IPSO threw out Emmott’s whinge, finding the piece was in fact perfectly accurate. 

In addition to joining the Ofcom board, Emmott will also chair their ‘Content Board’, which “sets and enforces quality and standards for television and radio”. Given Emmott’s record of making false claims against the media about Europe, is he really the best man for the job in an EU referendum year?

UPDATE: Emmott was also the Executive Producer of the BBC pro-EU propaganda film ‘The Great European Disaster Movie’. Expect this one to run…

UPDATE II: An Ofcom spokesperson has got in touch with Guido to say: “Any conflicts of interest involving non-executive Board members are managed appropriately and Bill Emmott would not be involved in discussions related to the EU referendum”.

Kay Burley: “Happiness in Her Eyes”

Kay proves scientifically that dogs can read human emotions, live on Sky News. And shuts down the Twitter meanies once and for all…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Media Guardian Pulls “Disgraceful” Bowie Video

Media Guardian were not impressed with Channel 5 for showing Angie Bowie in tears on Big Brother, with editor Kath Viner tweeting that the footage was “disgraceful“. So disgraceful that the Guardian posted the clip in its entirety […]

+ READ MORE +

Beeb Slaps Down McDonnell’s #BBCDP “Private Company” Fib

John McDonnell is doing his best to keep Labour’s hopeless row with the BBC going, this time bizarrely – and wrongly – accusing the Daily Politics of being produced by “a private company”. McDonnell claims in an interview with […]

+ READ MORE +

Life on Moir?

This double page spread in today’s Mail is terribly unfortunate. Planet earth is blue and there’s nothing they can do about that headline…

H/T @henrymance

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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