MEDIA: Independent introduces tabloid version

The Independent is to produce a tabloid version of itself from next Tuesday in a bid to boost its circulation. Initially sold within the M25 to target commuters, the new product will run alongside the existing one and will cost the same - 60p. The Independent's circulation dropped 3.3 per cent year-on-year in August to 217,400.

A spokesman for the paper insisted that the new tabloid was not a replacement for the broadsheet, saying both products will contain exactly the same editorial and be sold side by side on newsstands. 'It will be identical in every way, apart from size,' he said.

The paper, which is owned by Independent News & Media, relaunched its Review section as a tabloid last year. Market research has found that women and younger readers would prefer the new size, the spokesman said.

'They think it will attract readers who might prefer the tabloid for ease of use,' he added. 'This is consumer choice-driven. In a supermarket, you can buy the same product in four different ways.'

He denied the tabloid had been badly received by journalists, despite reports of hostility to the idea in the newsroom.

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