Telegraph prepares to launch compact edition

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The Independent Online

The Daily Telegraph has confirmed that it is to launch a "compact" version of the paper by the end of April.

The Daily Telegraph has confirmed that it is to launch a "compact" version of the paper by the end of April.

Despite the continuing uncertainty over the fate of the Telegraph group, the company said yesterday it is determined to press on with developing the title. It has set aside £8m for the venture.

The announcement followed the news that Richard Desmond has withdrawn from the competition to buy the Telegraph Group papers because his bid was too low.

There are at least 10 runners still bidding for the Telegraph titles, including the Daily Mail & General Trust, the Barclay brothers, owners of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, Gannett, the US media giant which publishes USA Today, and the 3i financial group.

The Independent became the first newspaper in recent times to reduce the page size of its daily edition, in September 2003. Since then, sales have risen more than 12 per cent compared with the same period in the previous year. The compact edition was launched at first in London only, but went national last month. The Times quickly followed suit.

The Guardian has told its staff that the title will remain a broadsheet. But in an interview published this month, the editor, Alan Rusbridger, appeared to indicate that some kind of new format could still be on the agenda.

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