Jeremy Warner: Someone still loves the print

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The Independent Online

Outlook OK, so I've a vested interest, but a warm welcome to Britain's latest newspaper proprietor, Alexander Lebedev. Mr Lebedev is buying London's Evening Standard not just because he likes newspapers, but because he has a commercial plan for the title which rightly or wrongly he thinks will work. Substantial new investment is planned. We'll see, I guess, but anyone prepared to back the future of the print with hard money when even some of its most long-serving editors write it off as a busted and increasingly irrelevant business model must be good news.

National newspapers are bought and loved by their owners for all kinds of reasons, and sometimes the overtly commercial comes quite a long way down the list. In that sense, newspapers are not businesses in the conventional sense at all, but more like institutions. Mr Lebedev seems to have grasped this point in a way that grey- suited accountants never can.