October 19, 2010 at 12:22

Russian Oligarch Alexander Lebedev to Start U.K. Newspaper `i' Next Week

Russian Oligarch Alexander Lebedev to Start U.K. Newspaper `i' Next Week

Alexander Lebedev, the Russian oligarch who owns the London Evening Standard and The Independent newspapers, will launch a new U.K. title next week to complement a new Independent format.

The weekday newspaper, called ‘i,’ will be edited by Independent Editor-in-Chief Simon Kelner and sold for 20 pence ($0.32) per copy, according to a statement from Independent Print Ltd. The Independent will get a “new look and feel” and continue to sell for 1 pound an issue.

The Independent, which Lebedev bought in March for 1 pound, has suffered from dwindling readership and revenue. ‘i’ will provide an “essential daily briefing” and target “readers and lapsed readers of quality newspapers,” the statement said. The title is the first to be launched in the U.K. since The Independent was founded almost 25 years ago.

“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,” Andrew Mullins, managing director of The Independent, said in the statement.

In early 2009, Lebedev also bought the London Evening Standard for 1 pound and made it free. That newspaper, which faced financial difficulties, is now approaching profitability mainly because of an upturn in advertising and higher ad prices.

Tags: i newspaper, The Independent

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