Interesting to see that while the rest of the media industry stresses about digital strategy, convergence and up and coming technology driven consumer trends, the Lebedev's are focusing very much on the nuts and bolts of the "old" media world.
We've been suggesting for a while that the Independent and Standard would end up sharing editorial resource, though in our view, it may go further than the reports this morning that the process may be starting. Currently this looks likely to extend to a shared foreign reporting presence at the World Cup, cutting the cost of content generation for both loss making titles.
Well, it makes sense, and would be a good start in combining the newsroom. Rolling forwards, would Standard readers mind if their content was written with an Independent hat on? Probably not, but vice versa?
Reports also that the Indy will be going free within the M25 - presumably piggybacking the existing Standard distribution network. Lebedev is saying that the Standard should be profitable in 2011 as the new ad reveneues gained since the Standard went free are starting to beat previous combined ad+circ rev. If so, well done, a brave move that has paid back, and one that I doubted would work out. But, and it's a big but, the Independent spent the best part of 20 years "breaking even next year" without ever quite making it.