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The Independent newspaper ends print version

March 26, 2016 - UNITED KINGDOM

The final Independent appears on newsstands, one of the first national newspapers in the world to end its print version under pressure from the internet. Launched in 1986, an online version will remain.

The drop in its weekly circulation from 400,000 in the 1980s to to 40,000 today, sealed its fate.

Evgeny Lebedev, who purchased The Independent in 2010, explained that the print publication was no longer economically viable. He did not reveal how many of the 150 full-time Independent staff would lose their jobs. Lebedev and his father, Alexander, also own The Evening Standard, a free weekday tabloid in the London area, as well as a and local TV station London Live.

In the statement about the transition on Feb 12, Lebedev offered one positive note saying that the website has seen its monthly audience grow 33.3 per cent over the last 12 months to nearly 70 million global unique users.

The print Independent's demise is a sign of the times. The Guardian, another British newspaper that is feeling the pinch, is reported to be slashing 20 per cent from its annual costs in an attempt to break even within three years.

The Independent on Sunday will be printed for the last time on March 20.

End of the road for Independent newspapers (Politico 12 Feb 2016)

Independent to cease as print edition (BBC 16 Feb 2016)

Date written/update: 2016-02-25