Media Lifeline: City A.M

The business freesheet has embraced technology and defied the sceptics since its launch two years ago.

September 2005: The ex-Metro International team of Lawson Muncaster and Jens Torpe launches City A.M., a London freesheet. Sceptics claim City workers would have little interest in the title given their busy schedules and are doubtful of the hand-distribution model.

December 2005: City A.M. records its first official ABC figure - debuting at 55,000. This has risen to 75,000 by June 2006 and hits the 100,000 figure by April 2007. Circulation rises have been achieved gradually by widening City A.M.'s distribution area, originally focused around the Square Mile and Canary Wharf. Muncaster says later: "We are on course to overtake the FT as London's most-read business newspaper."

March 2006: City A.M. launches City P.M., a podcast that is available for download each weekday. Later in the year, a "bitesize" City P.M. news service is made available to mobile phones each day. "We're quite innovative," an unusually restrained Muncaster says.

December 2006: Reports circulate that City A.M. is considering launching in Scotland. The newspaper is looking at distribution of 10,000 copies in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with the plan involving small teams of journalists adding local coverage into the new editions. However, the launch is subject to a feasibility study, which will be conducted throughout 2007.

September 2007: Having hit profitability in March, City A.M. celebrates its second birthday by launching a web portal to provide readers with both business and lifestyle information. However, it also has to face up to the loss of its editor, David Parsley, who had been with the title since its launch, after he resigns for personal reasons. As an interim measure, the news editor, David Hellier, is appointed as the acting editor.

Fast forward ...

July 2008: City A.M. uses the spotlight of the Olympic Games to announce licensed launches in Beijing and Shanghai. It aims to take its mix of business and sport to the spiralling Chinese economy, with additional add-ons including a website in Mandarin Chinese and mobile phone news alerts. The titles prove to be a success, leading to the roll-out of several more editions across Asia.