Russian oligarch Evgeny Lebedev is reportedly in talks to sell his loss-making London Live TV station.
Lebedev and his father, Alexander, won the bidding for the licence for the capital’s first dedicated TV channel in 2013. The plan was for the TV station to help drive profitability across the Lebedevs’ media portfolio – which also includes The Evening Standard and The Independent newspapers – but in reality it has proved a financial disaster. It was hoped London Live would break even in 2017, has it has never made a profit – so far running up losses of some £30 million (€34.7m).
The Guardian reports that Lebedev is in talks with That’s Media, which owns licences to 20 local TV stations, including Manchester, Cambridge and Oxford, about potentially selling London Live. That’s Media has built up a network by taking on struggling local TV franchises.