Independent falls in line with 20p cover price hike

The Independent is to raise its cover price by 20p to £1.20 – bringing it line with broadsheet competitors The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

The price hike, which takes place next Monday, means News International's The Times will become the UK's cheapest broadsheet at £1.

In an editorial this morning, Independent editor Chris Blackhurst said: 'For almost four years, The Independent has not raised its price. During that period, we have faced intense financial pressures. Inflation has been high and the recession severe and prolonged. Newsprint, transportation and other production costs continue to rise, seemingly inexorably.

'Despite that, we have held off asking for more from you as long as we can. Alas, we cannot hold out any longer – so, unfortunately, from Monday 23 April, The Independent will increase its cover price, to £1.20, bringing it into line with other newspapers."

The cover price of the Independent's Saturday edition will remain at £1.60. Blackhurst said that from Saturday 28 April a new supplement will be launched called Radarfocusing on arts, books, listings and culture

Blackhurst said it will combine "the strengths of the existing Arts & Books section – most of which will move from next week from its current Friday slot – and our old listings supplements".

The paper has also announced the arrival of Guardian TV critic Grace Dent, described by Blackhurst as 'brilliant, sassy, funny".

The Independent's existing, pre-price-rise subscription offer of £5 per week for all editions of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday – worth £9.60 – remains unchanged at £5, which includes free iPad access normally worth £9.99 a month.

Blackhurst told readers: 'I can only repeat that I am sorry that your Independent will cost more, and we appreciate that you, our readers, face the same sort of financial squeeze as we do, and possibly an even worse one.

'In particular, for those many of you who have been with us from the start in 1986, I hope you will keep the faith in such difficult times. More than ever, The Independent's voice needs to be heard."

The news comes a week after the latest ABC figures showed circulation of The Independent fell 45 per cent year on year to 100,672, a figures that includes almost 30,000 bulk sales.

Its cut-price sister-title i, which cost 20p, was up 60 per cent year on year to 273,793, which includes 62,5111 bulk copies.

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