Glover plan for quality tabloid rated 'ambitious'

Kelner: ‘very crowded market’

An unexpected challenger for the new quality tabloid newspaper market has emerged in the shape of Independent co-founder and Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover.

He is said to be attempting to raise £15m to produce a paper with a target circulation of 100,000. The former Guardian columnist Francis Wheen has also been linked to the project.

Glover was unavailable for comment, but it is understood that the project is a response to the perceived “dumbing down” of newspapers.

Independent editor-in-chief Simon Kelner, who has pioneered the compact broadsheet, said: “It’s very interesting.

An investment of £15m to get a circulation of 100,000 is a very ambitious total – 100,000 is a lot of copies sold in a very crowded market.

“Stephen Glover is a very good journalist, but he is constantly saying that we should spend more on our editorial product. We spend considerably more than £15m solely on editorial, leaving aside the promotions spend that we have. I think it’s a very interesting and ambitious plan.”

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said: “There are a lot of journalists on The Times and The Independent who are unhappy about the direction the papers have gone in. They are also right to say that by rushing to this new converged middle market they have left a fairly large, gaping hole in what we used to call the broadsheet market.

“We’ll be very glad to occupy that. I wouldn’t hold out great hopes for the Glover initiative, but I think he has identified an unhappiness among Times and Independent journalists and readers.”

The Independent has poached Sunday Telegraph political editor Colin Brown to be its new deputy political editor.

The Indy has also hired Media Guardian writer Ciar Byrne as media correspondent.

Ian Burrell has been promoted to media editor.

Editor-in-chief Simon Kelner said: “Colin was on The Independent and the Independent on Sunday but he went to the Telegraph.

“He recognises that we are on the crest of a wave at the minute and he wanted to be part of it.

“It’s a massive coup for us to able to hire someone of that experience and ability and it’s further indication of the ambitions of the paper.”

Another appointment revealed this week was that of Dan Gledhill to the post of night editor.

By Dominic Ponsford

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