Evening Standard wins London TV bid
By Adam Bienkov
4 February 2013, 17:38
The Evening Standard has won their bid to operate London’s new local TV station.
Ofcom awarded the Standard the licence because they “demonstrated the greatest understanding of London’s diverse communities.”
They beat a number of rival bids including a consortium between ITN, Press Association, Time Out and others.
The decision means that London’s only dedicated newspaper and television channels will now be owned and operated by close friends of the Mayor.
Last year Boris Johnson went on a “purely personal” Italian holiday courtesy of Standard owner Evgeney Lebedev.
Current editor Sarah Sands is also a close family friend of the Mayor, and was appointed after an intervention by Boris.
Sands has been accused of suppressing stories about Boris Johnson.
This has led to frustration amongst some at the Standard.
Last week one journalist at the paper told me that it is now near impossible to get criticism of Boris into the paper “unless it’s David Cameron criticising him.”
Even those close to Boris admit in private how surprised they were at the sheer scale of support the paper gave him at the last election.
Under Ofcom rules, broadcasters have to abide by strict impartiality rules.
The channel will be available on all free digital terrestrial services and has agreed to launch within the next two years.