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Welcome to Lexington’s weekly round-up of media news and the latest moves in journalism.

MEDIA NEWS

Further Reach

The newspaper publisher Reach is combining several of its titles to create a London-wide news site, reportedly to rival the Evening Standard, using the tagline: ‘Best city ever’. Research from Reach found that there was an appetite among the 25 – 34 year old market for a ‘trusted, local London news brand with personality’. The Croydon Advertiser and Get West London are two of the titles that have been merged to form Mylondon.news, but the decision has been criticised by some on social media: ‘People want what’s relevant locally. London’s a big place!’

So many questions

Fiona Bruce has been announced as David Dimbleby’s successor on BBC One’s Question Time, assuming her role at the beginning of the next series on January 10. Speaking about her new position, Bruce said: ‘For many years Question Time has been presented by one of my television heroes, so I am thrilled and not a little daunted to be stepping into [Dimbleby’s] shoes. But it is a programme I have watched for as long as I can remember and have long wanted to be part of. I can’t wait to get started.’ As Dimbleby’s salary was paid by an independent production company it was never made public, whereas Bruce, who is contracted directly by the BBC, will see hers published next summer.

Brexit corner

The Daily Star has branded itself a ‘Brexit Free Zone’ on its front cover, giving readers a chance to catch up on all of the I’m a Celeb gossip uninterrupted.

Meanwhile, tonight on the eve of the Brexit vote in parliament, the BBC’s Nick Robinson is to host a special primetime broadcast, Brexit: Decision Time at 8.30pm on BBC One.

Ads up 

The advertising firm Group M has found that UK ad spend, in print and online, fell 4 per cent in 2018 to £843 million from £877 million in 2017. The firm has forecasted a further 10 per cent drop in advertising spend in national news brands in 2019 and a separate 8.8 per cent drop of ad spend in regional newspapers from £723 million this year to £660 million in 2019. Overall, however, ad spend is projected to rise in 2019 breaking the £20 billion mark for the first time largely thanks to digital ad spend on sites such as Facebook, Google and Amazon.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK

MEDIA MOVES

Gurpreet Narwan is now an economics correspondent at The Times.

Sarah Calkin has resumed her role as news editor of the Local Government Chronicle.

Katie Mansfield has been appointed news editor at The Bookseller.

If your organisation needs communications advice, or you would like more information about how Lexington’s team of media experts can support you, please contact caroline.nagle@lexcomm.co.uk.

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