Independent launches ‘i’ newspaper

The publisher of The Independent is to launch a new daily title, with a focus on “time-poor readers who want a quality read.”

Alexander Lebedev
Alexander Lebedev

The newspaper, called i, will go on sale nationwide from Tuesday 26 October with a cover price of 20p.

The first national daily to launch since The Independent in October 1986, the launch will be backed by an advertising campaign created by Trevor Beattie of agency BMB.

The newspaper group says that the title is targeted at “lapsed readers of quality newspapers,” and those of “all ages who want a comprehensive digest of the news in printed form.”

A statement says: “i will combine intelligence with brevity, and depth with speed of reading, providing an essential daily briefing.”

It has been reported that the title, described as a “concise, quality daily paper” will be targeted at readers in their 20s, and will include new stand alone content, separate from the main title.

The launch comes after weeks of industry speculation that an announcement from the publisher was imminent, with some suggesting The Independent could change to a freesheet, a strategy that was dismissed by Independent owner Alexander Lebedev last year.

His father, Evgeny Lebedev, and chairman of the company adds that the launch comes from a belief that a “free press is a fundamental tool of a democracy.”

“We believe that newspapers still have a future, and a very important one. We have shown by our investment in the London Evening Standard that, even in these highly competitive times, it is possible to revive a brand, and we aim to do the same with The Independent by the launch of i and the improvements to the parent paper,” he adds.

In April, The Independent relaunched, with marketing campaign to drive subscriptions.

Andrew Mullins, managing director of The Independent, says: “Quality newspapers provide a highly valuable audience for advertisers, but recently print circulations have been in decline and the average age of the audience has been increasing.”

“We are creating a newspaper for the 21st century that is designed for people who have a thirst for information and entertainment in the limited time that they have available. i is a reader-led newspaper with broad reach and intelligence,” he adds.

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