Ashley Highfield: i purchase gives Johnston Press scale to sell national advertising

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield has said that his company's £24m purchase of the i newsaper will give it the scale it needs to sell national advertising.
 
He told City AM: "We are in one quarter of the coun­try and we want to be in all of it, not least because this is a scale game and we wanted to go after more national advertising revenue and have a bigger train set across which to offer our digital services.”
 
He also said he sees great potential to grow the i's digital audience by creating its own website and to increase distribution across all parts of the UK and into smaller retailers.
 
The i's in-house editorial team is to expand from 17 to 51. There will be an £850,000-a-year deal to buy content from the Independent website and the Evening Standard.
 
Content will also come from Press Association and Johnston Press regional titles such as The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post.
 
Meanwhile the National Union of Journalists has condemned the closure of the Independent print titles, which will follow the sale. The union said the move will lead to at least 100 redundancies and many more casual staff losing their jobs. And it warned that new online jobs have reduced conditions compared to roles on the newspaper.

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