Last year I wrote a short piece on the news that City AM, the free business-focused newspaper in London, had reached the decision to discontinue its Friday print edition owing to a dwindling audience.

It is impressive then that since the news last January, City AM is going from strength-to-strength, with a new owner pouring money into the worthwhile ‘freesheet’ and attracting a pool of talented journalists who are publishing some rather punchy stuff (I direct you to a headline from earlier this year).

Unfortunately this turn around in fortunes has not been the inflection point that the free newspaper media of London have been looking for, with news last week that the London Evening Standard is closing its daily newspaper production in preference for a new weekly publication.

Now one can expect certain commentators to declare this to be another casualty of the WFH phenomenon, though it does feel that this jack-of-all-trades excuse is beginning to run a little thin.

What is more likely is that the continued rise of online media has put real pressure on physical newspaper readership. The Standard reported an average distribution per issue of 274,538 in April this year. A decade ago it was more than three times that at 897,610.

Why is this the case? Well, you only need to look about on commuter trains and buses and notice how passengers are more interested in podcasts, television shows, or even online newspapers than traditional print copy – utilising ever expanding Wi-Fi and internet connectivity across the capital, including 25% of the tube network!

Whilst a reduction in newspapers cluttering up luggage racks and draped over vacant seats might be celebrated in some quarters, dwindling audiences in any format means less revenue and therefore a smaller editorial team. That’s not a good outcome for anyone.

Now it is obvious that the quoted losses of £84.5m are not sustainable for any media outlet, and the publication’s chair, Paul Kanareck, commented that it his intention “to reshape the business, return to profitability and secure the long-term future of the number one news brand in London.”

Many other city-based/regional newspapers have been through similar processes over the last decade, but this will be a crumb of comfort for the many journalists at the Standard now facing a consultation period.

Thankfully there is a recent example of such a turnaround in fortunes within the City of London – but it requires money, commitment from the top, and a platform that facilitates, and benefits from, the more modern way of digesting the news.