London’s mX newspaper dead: another one bites the dust So it’s not all about the advertising after all. Rupert Murdoch’s London freesheet The London Paper has passed away after three years despite market dominance and growing advertising revenue.

TLP’s revenue had grown every year since its launch on 4 August 2006: In the first 10 months of operation in the 07FY, the paper brought in $15.2 million which jumped to $28.8 million by the 09FY.

Even without the global financial crisis, the economics of the enterprise never added up. News Corporation is believed to have spent $46-$50 million a year to produce TLP. It employed 60 people (40 journalists) and printed 500,000 copies a day (25 per cent more cost than its competitor on 400,000 copies).

Consequently it lost $33.8 million in its first year, $25.8 million in the second and is estimated to have lost $18.2 million last financial year when it was budgeted to lose only $10 million.

Its closure on 18 September will stem the blood flow from NewsCorp coffers but not the red faces around the Murdoch family dinner table. TLP was the first paper started in Fleet Street by Rupert Murdoch (he bought The Sun and The Times) but it was closed by his son James Murdoch who now does his father’s bidding in Europe and Asia.

Loss of face can more easily be resolved around a boardroom table when the numbers are stacked up against you. What can’t be tolerated is inconsistency. After a recent road to Damascus conversion by Rupert Murdoch to charging for online content – he could hardly afford to throw it away in print on the streets of London. — Terry Maher

Obama no longer a Joker. A Chicago student is at the centre of a censorship storm after a now famous image he created of US President Barack Obama as the Joker from The Dark Knight was removed from Flickr. The removal comes two months after the popular photo-sharing site deleted the account of Shepherd Johnson, on which he had 1200 photos. — The Age

Fairfax accuses website of plagiarism. Fairfax Business Media has accused website BusinessSpectator.com.au of plagiarism for publishing abstracts of The Australian Financial Review, as publishers become increasingly alarmed about the appropriation of their content by online businesses. — The Australian

News Corp. talks web consortium. As newspapers across the country struggle with declining readership and advertising revenue, News Corp. executives have been meeting in recent weeks with publishers about forming a consortium that would charge for news distributed online and on portable devices — and potentially stem the rising tide of red ink. — Los Angeles Times

Twitter fails to trademark “tweet”. The word “tweet” may have entered the international lexicon thanks to an explosion in 140-word microblogging messages, but an attempt by Twitter’s founders to trademark it has been rejected. — The Guardian

Nigerians strike again. A Nigerian scam selling fake puppies and kittens is targeting Australian animal lovers. Joanne Sillince, of the Pet Industry Association of Australia, said the scam, based in Nigeria and Cameroon, “cons consumers into buying non-existent puppies or dogs over the internet”. — Sydney Morning Herald

Kazaa founder turns crime fighter. A few short years ago, Kevin Bermeister was the music industry’s public enemy number one, pursued by lawyers and private investigators over his file sharing business Kazaa. Mr Bermeister, who paid out a reported $150 million in a 2005 legal settlement with the majors, has created a new weapon against music piracy that could make him the industry’s new best friend. — The Age

Peter Fray

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