Chris Whitworth will stick with old favourites rather than switch to the
The sub-title says it all, really. ‘The Securities and Investment
Banking Weekly.’ Not exactly for the typical Hello! reader, is it? In
fact, in this first issue the editor spells it out - it is targeting an
esoteric four-fifths of 1 per cent of the UK population. Watch out,
soaraway Sun - here comes the London Financial News.
LFN’s 40 tabloid colour pages are a mixed bag. Some (13) useful pages,
of the journal-of-record type, but the news seems more like background
colour and the four pages of company summaries are lifted from the
quality dailies. Recruitment (much of it sponsored), City gossip and
comment and analysis make up the balance.
As you would expect, the (very limited) advertising is so precisely
targeted that you’d need to be one of those ‘four-fifths of 1 per cent’
even to recognise the names.
I have to admit, I’d rather stick to the Telegraph and the Financial
Times for my City reading, and at pounds 2 per issue LFN is as expensive
as the much fuller Economist.
It’s exactly ten years ago that Eddy Shah, with his then new Today,
invented the electronically-produced colour tabloid which is the direct
progenitor of LFN. And today Shah says newspapers are dead. He should
know. With Reuters and now the quality dailies putting out daily - even
hourly - editions on their Internet and Web sites, I wonder how much
readership a weekly financial newspaper can attract? So, if I were the
publisher of the FT, it wouldn’t be competition from LFN that I’d be
worrying about - I’d be looking ten years further along the technology
curve at publishing on the Internet. Has the LFN missed the boat?