i Assistant Editor's Letter: Deborah Ross's exciting news (we're sorry, Pippa!)


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The Independent Online


I have been writing in this slot for little over a month now, having taken over from Stefano after two-and-a-half years as his wing man. His act was an exceptionally difficult one to follow, but I like to think we’re doing something right.

We are continually humbled by the response that readers have given to our 20p daily briefing, and the loyalty that you have shown. So it is with immense pride that I can share with you the latest industry circulation figures released yesterday.

Circulation of i has hit a record level, with an average 306,578 copies daily, up 0.75 per cent month-on-month, and 11.67 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest ABC figures. So shout it from the rooftops and tell your friends to come and join the club of Britain’s only growing national, quality, daily newspaper. All the staff here thank you for your continued support – we cannot do it without you.

It is this support which drove many of you to write in yesterday on hearing Deborah Ross’s announcement that she was to be replaced by Pippa Middleton as a columnist. None of the letters I received were complimentary, many were unprintable, and most called for my immediate sacking.

In my view, such opinions are a tad too harsh, especially given our recent sales figures, but I did promise I would listen to you. So I’m very pleased to announce that after extensive negotiations with both sets of lawyers, Deborah has agreed to remain with us. Besides, Ms Middleton had already tried to cry off next week, with the dubious excuse that she was already writing columns in two other publications.

But those of you who are now disappointed may be pleased to know that I’ve arranged for her to write for us at the beginning of next April.

Twitter.com: @jonesrhodri