Lebedevs could go far with London monopoly that TV deal brings

The dominant London newspaper, several websites and now TV – the London Live franchise could bring the Lebedevs real clout

Were we talking pluralism in the accustomed, fearful fashion, then things would look very black. One dominant evening paper for London – which means one dominant London paper any time of day: some 33 hyperlocal websites sprouting from it: and now one new TV station for London, duly awarded by Ofcom after an open contest. What on earth is Ofcom thinking? We have a London monopoly here…

Except that nobody thinks of the Lebedevs, father and son, as Murdochs manqués. And, equally, no one puts the Russian-owned Evening Standard in the same basket as the Sun and Sky. There is, indeed, quite a deal of goodwill coming their way. Yet, even so, the decision to hand the Standard its own brand-new TV station for the capital surely means huge opportunity knocking. If the Lebedevs have the investment cash and the ambition to be London's first source on the web as well, there could be serious money and serious clout for them here.

Who needs to struggle in Moscow when you can own the world from Neasden to Notting Hill?

Contributor

Peter Preston

The GuardianTramp

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