Independent moves upmarket with new look

The Independent unveiled another new look this week, which is intended to reaffirm its positioning as an intellectual, upmarket newspaper.

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.


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