Britain gets first new national daily in 30 years

The Independent newspaper announced that it would publish its last print edition next month after 30 years. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - One of Britain's largest newspaper publishers announced Monday (Feb 22) it was launching a new national daily, the first of its kind for 30 years, that will hit the newsstands just as another goes out of print.

Trinity Mirror, which publishes the left-leaning Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror tabloids, said The New Day will go on sale on Feb 29 and offer an "upbeat, optimistic approach and will be politically neutral".

The announcement comes just days after the owner of The Independent newspaper, Russian-born Evgeny Lebedev, announced that it would publish its last print edition next month after 30 years. It will continue online.

The New Day will have a social media presence but no website, according to Trinity Mirror's chief executive Simon Fox.

He acknowledged that the number of people buying newspapers had declined but insisted that print was far from dead.

"Over a million people have stopped buying a newspaper in the past two years but we believe a large number of them can be tempted back with the right product," he said.

"Revitalising print is a core part of our strategy in parallel with digital transformation and there doesn't have to be a choice between the two - newspapers can live in the digital age if they have been designed to offer something different."

The new title's editor, Alison Phillips, said it had been developed "as a result of customer insight and is the first newspaper designed for people's modern lifestyles".

The 40-page newspaper will be given away free on the first day, before a trial price at 25 pence (S$0.50) for a fortnight and 50 pence after that - 10 pence cheaper than the Daily Mirror.

A cut-price version of The Independent, the "i", was launched in 2010 but Trinity Mirror said the new daily will be "an entirely new newspaper, not a sister title or light version of the Daily Mirror".

The latest figures show the "i" had a circulation of more than 270,000, compared to just 55,000 for The Independent. Meanwhile the Daily Mirror lost 12 per cent of sales year on year, down to just over 800,000 in January.

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