The Independent considers Life supplement axe

The Independent is considering axing its Independent Life supplement just four months after it was introduced.

The supplement replaced the Extra section, which includes its features on weekdays, and was launched to complement the paper’s switch to a full colour newspaper in September last year.

Independent Life has specific daily focuses – on Mondays, style and beauty; Tuesdays, health and wellbeing; Wednesdays, games and gadgets; Thursdays, food and drink; and Fridays, arts. It aims to be more “consumer focused” than the news content.

But a fall in sales is understood to have led owner Independent News and Media to review the content of the paper and it is expected to lead to redundancies.

A spokesman for the publisher confirmed a review was under way, but said no decisions had been made yet. He says: “We are looking at an number of different formats for the newspaper, but no decisions have been taken at this stage.”

It is understood that about 70 editorial and production staff will be affected by the change, if the supplement is scrapped. The paper has already cut about 90 jobs from The Independent and Independent on Sunday, in a bid to save over £10m in staff costs.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for December, The Independent’s sales fell by 15.8% compared to the same time last year. The paper’s circulation was 200,242, down 12.33% year on year, but only 0.43% month-on-month.

The publisher is also moving the two London-based titles to Associated Newspapers’s headquarters, Northcliffe House in Kensington at the end of January, in order to cut costs on renting its Docklands headquarters.

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