The Independent unveiled another new look this week, which is
intended to reaffirm its positioning as an intellectual, upmarket
The title, which was bought in its entirety in March by its then joint
majority shareholder, Independent Newspapers of Ireland, has opted for a
cleaner design and emphasis on expanded news coverage. To underline the
upmarket stance, it has converted its tabloid second section back into a
Independent Newspapers’ managing director, Brendan Hopkins, said that
this was the first part of a three- to five-year development plan for
the newspaper, whose circulation has averaged 215,987 in the three
months to May.
Hopkins said: ’We have a very modest target for the newspapers - 250,000
for the daily title and 300,000 for the Sunday newspaper. The
advertising category it’s in is a very lucrative one, where we appeal to
a young, highly professional readership. There is a reservoir of
goodwill out there for the newspaper.’
Simon Kelner, who became editor five weeks ago, commented: ’We are the
weakest newspaper in the market. We need to develop our strengths and
add to them. This gives us a USP and a distinctiveness in the
The broadsheet format does say it’s a quality newspaper. It’s a lot more
elegant and the front section is punchier.’
Hopkins emphasised that there would be ’no big bang’ advertising
campaign to draw attention to the changes, but the newspaper would
concentrate on regional advertising that would be event driven.
The changes made to the main paper include a reduced masthead and the
expansion of the news section to 32 pages, with enlarged business,
foreign and sports coverage.
The second broadsheet section is called the Review and contains comment
and opinion, arts, features and listings. The daily, subject-specific
tabloid sections have been folded into the Review, apart from education,
which will remain a tabloid, published on Thursdays.
Editor’s comment, page 55.