The Independent newspaper confirms an end to print production
The Independent has confirmed that it will end print production next month with at least 75 redundancies
The Independent has called an end to its print newspaper operation after three decades, and gone online-only, making around 75 journalists redundant.
The newspaper publishing group claimed the move would ensure a “sustainable and profitable future” for the company which has been struggling with heavy losses for years.
The newspaper, which was launched in 1986, will print its last daily title on 26 March. The last Independent on Sunday will be on 20 March.
The decision to close its national print titles follows an agreed £24m sale of its tabloid i newspaper to Johnston Press, the owner of regional titles including The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post.
“The newspaper industry is changing, and that change is being driven by readers,” said owner Evgeny Lebedev.
He bought The Independent for £1 in 2010 but has since pumped around £60m of investment into the publishing group, including funding the launch of the i in a bid to attract a younger and wider audience.
The publishing group will be taking content for the i, and its website, from licenced copy from The Independent’s online team, the Evening Standard and its own regional titles. “If it’s a good story it will get in”, Mr Highfield said.
Johnston Press, which needs shareholder approval for the deal, is funding the takeover with a £22m payment on completion and another £2m in April 2017. Mr Highfield said the deferred sum was “to keep everyone honest”.
“This is a transformational acquisition for Johnston Press and an important step towards delivering our long-term strategy”, said Mr Highfield.
“i is a highly regarded newspaper with a clear market position and a loyal readership. By joining with Johnston Press the combined circulation will be equal to 9pc of national daily circulation, making us the fourth largest player in the market.”