It’s being billed as the first new “quality” newspaper launch in the UK since the Independent 24 years ago.
But the Independent’s new 20p a day spin-off ‘i’ failed to merit a mention in the print editions of any of the rival UK nationals yesterday. It not surprisingly made page-two leads for The Independent today, and the Evening Standard yesterday.
As this UK-centric Google News search shows), only the FT and the Guardian have written about ‘i’ and then only online (CORRECTION, the FT did also cover it in print on page 21).
The £1cover prices of The Times, Guardian and Telegraph are already massacring their circulation figures, which are currently down anything from 10 to 17 per cent year on year.
A new cut-price competitor is almost the last thing they need, not quite as bad as the Independent going free. The wall of silence, so far, is as good a sign as any that they see ‘i’ as a serious potential threat.
If there is one thing new print launches need it is masses of marketing, and Alexander Lebedev’s competitors look determined to make sure that they don’t give him any free publicity.