The Independent and Independent on Sunday Newspapers are going digital-only from March, retiring its long-standing print editions as part of a sale.
Announcing its "digital-only future", ESI Media said that the news would lead inevitably to "some redundancies among editorial employees" (the papers have 150 full-time staff), though the shift would also result in 25 new "digital-content roles" being created.
“The newspaper industry is changing, and that change is being driven by readers,” said co-owner Evgeny Lebedev. “They’re showing us that the future is digital. This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers to our online platforms.”
The last issue of the Independent is now expected to hit stands on 26 March, with the final Independent on Sunday landing earlier that week on 20 March.
The announcement also came with confirmation that the i newspaper would be sold to Johnston Press, once approval from Johnston's shareholders was gained.
The Independent was founded in 1986. It's website has 58 million monthly visitors, and expects to grow revenues by 50 per cent in the wake of the digital-only push.