London Paper set to close

FREE afternoon newspaper the London Paper is set to close next month, its owner News International said yesterday, putting 60 jobs at risk.<br /><br />The title, which booked pre-tax losses of &pound;12.9m on revenues of &pound;14m in the year to June 2008, had &ldquo;fallen short of expectations,&rdquo; said James Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp in Europe and Asia.<br /><br />He added: &ldquo;The strategy at News International over the past 18 months has been to streamline our operations and focus investment on our core titles.&rdquo;<br /><br />A spokesman for rival paper London Lite, which is owned by Daily Mail and General Trust, said it was watching developments with interest, while analysts said it could also close.<br /><br />News International, which has been looking to reduce costs as it weathers the downturn, has been disposing of non-core assets as well as cutting production jobs at its newspapers.<br /><br />The news came as it emerged that media magnate and News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch saw his income fall by 40 per cent last year. His pay packet was $19.9m (&pound;12.1m), compared to $27.5m in fiscal 2008.