Independent launches new 20p newspaper called i

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i paper
Image caption,
The new paper is aimed at people who are short of time

The Independent newspaper has launched a new daily title, called i, aimed at attracting "readers and lapsed readers of quality newspapers".

The new concise paper, which will cost 20p, will share the same editorial staff as The Independent.

The Independent's owner, Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev, also owns London's Evening Standard newspaper.

Independent executive Andrew Mullins said the new paper was selling out in some shops.

But he said they were hoping the paper would not be a threat to the Independent itself.

He said: "The problem is that some of the (Independent's) audience don't want to read the full 'Sunday roast' variant during the week. They have a very busy lifestyle and they need something more concise and distilled.

"We think that if you provide something which is an essentially daily briefing it will bring people back to the quality newspaper market and then they may well trade up to the main Independent when they have more money and time. We are hoping to grow both (papers)."

Last year the Standard became a freesheet and has seen its readership increase sharply as a result.

There had been much speculation that the Independent and the Independent on Sunday, which Mr Lebedev bought in March from Irish company Independent News & Media (INM) for £1, would also become free papers.

'Revive a brand'

"Time-poor newspaper readers, and especially commuters, have been telling us for years that they are inundated with information and just don't have the time to read a quality newspaper on a regular basis," said Mr Mullins.

Evgeny Lebedev, the son of Alexander Lebedev and the chairman of Independent Print Ltd which publishes the British titles, said he was confident that launching i would be a success.

"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," he said.

The UK's 11 major national daily newspapers have seen their circulation shrink an average 5.75% in the last year to 10.3 million copies a day, according to industry figures.

The more expensive quality papers have suffered more than the cheaper tabloids.

The Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Guardian have each suffered a drop in circulation of more than 10% over the last year.

Sales of The Independent, which costs £1, have fallen to just over 186,000 a day from about 250,000 three years ago

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