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London to get new business daily newspaper

LONDON – The Financial Times could find its home turf being hit as a new free daily business newspaper, London Business Daily, is set to be launched at the end of this year by a former Metro International executive.

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The paper is being planned and launched by Lawson Muncaster, the vice-president of global sales at Metro International who left the Swedish free newspaper group in October 2004.

Muncaster, a former sales director at Eurosport and CNN, was reported at the time to be leaving Metro to run his own business in Scotland.

Former Sunday Express business editor, David Parsley, has been appointed as the paper's editor and he is currently appointing an editorial team.

The new paper has completed its first round of funding through Scottish institutions and is now negotiating second-round funding with venture capital partners.

"London's business community has never been fully catered for. By launching London Business Daily at the end of this year, we aim to fill this gap in the market. We are in the process of building a strong editorial and commercial team and are in discussions to secure secondary funding, which will facilitate our launch," Muncaster said.

While at Metro, Muncaster spearheaded Metro's efforts to increase sales from multimarket deals with advertisers including BA, Dell and Buena Vista.

If the paper successfully launches, it will be a first for London and the global daily newspaper market.

It is unclear if Muncaster plans to roll the paper out to other cities around the world.

The launch will likely put pressure on the FT, which in April launched a free mini edition in FTpm, a double-sided A4 briefing available free in the City on weekday afternoons. It will be the first paper to launch into the business market since the The Business in the 1990s and the shortlived Scottish business daily Business a.m. closed at the end of 2002.

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