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Evening Standard sacks nearly half its journalists after Covid crunch

Evening Standard sacks nearly half its journalists after Covid crunch
George Osborne arrives for work at the Standard (Getty images)
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Last Friday, Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Independent and the Evening Standard, was celebrating his nomination for a peerage. But while the future looks bright for soon-to-be Lord Lebedev (son of the former KGB spy Alexander Lebedev), there is bad news for some of those who work for him. Today it was announced that the Standard will sack nearly half of its journalists after its business model was shredded by the Covid-19 crisis.

Up to 69 poor hacks at Derry Street are said to be up for the chop, with 46 who work in other roles in the company also losing their jobs. It’s a grim start for Emily Sheffield, founder of ‘This Much I Know News’ and former deputy editor of Vogue, who took over as editor from George Osborne last month, as the former Chancellor became editor-in-chief.

As Mr S said at the time, Sheffield took the role at an incredibly difficult time for the London paper. It has been reported that the Standard’s distribution has almost halved as a result of lockdown and advertising revenue has all but collapsed.

Some of the Standard’s higher-paid journalists have been told they won't lose their jobs but have to take a substantial salary cut. Mr S wonders if George ‘we're all in this together’ Osborne is one of them.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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