Simon Kelner has dispelled fears about the early uptake of The Independent’s spin-off, called i, by claiming readers had been buying the new paper ‘in massive numbers”.
Kelner, who edits both i and The Independent, today thanked readers for their support as he claimed that circulation of the launch issue surpassed the ‘most bullish expectations’of executives at the newspaper.
The i launched on Tuesday with a cover price of 20p and a giveaway of ten of thousands of copies at key commuting locations across the country.
‘A newspaper is like a living organism. It doesn’t arrive fully formed from the womb, but develops and matures,’Kelner wrote in today’s paper.
‘This is the third issue of i, so we are still, metaphorically speaking, waking up in the middle of the night and screaming.
‘However, the baby is doing pretty well, and managed its first smile yesterday with the news that circulation figures for the first issue surpassed our most bullish expectationsâ€¦
‘You have been buying it in massive numbers, you’ve been tweeting about it, you’ve been talking about it and, most importantly, you have been writing to us about it.”
Press Gazette has asked The Independent for more details about its first day circulation but the request for comment has not yet been returned.
Earlier this week, Andrew Mullins, managing director of The Independent, told Press Gazette that an official representation of the paper’s circulation would not be available until just before Christmas, at the earliest.
Mullins said that not declaring circulations until at least mid-December ‘took the pressure off’and allowed The Independent to build its new digest paper at the pace it wanted and in the areas it wanted.
The i is being made available across 75 per cent of the areas where The Independent is current distributed, Mullins said.
If the new paper was selling 200,000 copies each day in six months time and The Independent held its current circulation, he added, the publisher would be satisfied.