The London Evening Standard is an English tabloid regional local newspaper published and sold in London and surrounding areas of southeast England. It is dominant as a London local daily paper, with a strong City (i.e. financial) emphasis as well as carrying national and international news. In the run up to the 2008 Mayoral election much of the paper was frequently critical of incumbent Ken Livingstone, something that led to accusations of partiality.
Max Hastings was editor from 1996 until his retirement in 2002. Veronica Wadley (formerly with the Daily Mail) is the current editor. Although the Standard (as it is commonly referred to) shares the same Editor in Chief, Paul Dacre, as the National newspaper, the Daily Mail it has 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).
It publishes four editions each day, from Monday to Friday excluding Bank holidays. The first of these is officially timed for 8 a.m. and is available around 11 a.m. in shops in London and its more outlying circulation areas (such as Tonbridge, Kent). A second edition is available in the central area, and the third, "West End Edition", circulated more widely to include the suburbs, available from around 3 p.m. The last edition "West End Final" is timed to catch the commuter market, and obviously carries the latest news. This edition is available from 5 p.m. in the central area and around 7 p.m. outside the central area. There is often considerable variation between the editions, particularly with the front page lead and following few pages, including the Londoner's Diary (which now appears on page 15), though features and reviews stay the same.
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 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.
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, Katy Law and Alison Cork.
An entertainment guide supplement Metro Life (previously called Hot Tickets) was launched in September 2002 was a what's on guide with listings of cinemas and theatres in and around London was given away on Thursdays. This was discontinued on 1 September 2005.
A separate property paper with articles on related subjects, as well as estate agents advertisements, is given away on Wednesdays.
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 Wimbledon Ladies Singles Final.
The newspaper's website run, thisislondon.co.uk, carries some (but by no means all) of the stories from the Evening Standard as well as promotions, reviews and competitions. This contrasts with four daily UK "nationals (broadsheets)" whose websites mirror the print content. A recent innovation is the inclusion of a number of blogs on this site 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. It requires registration to view.