'The Independent' launches tabloid version to give readers a choice

From next Tuesday, The Independent will be available in two sizes. In one of the most important developments in the newspaper's history, The Independent will be on sale in the Greater London area in both the traditional broadsheet size and a new tabloid format, becoming the world's first newspaper to give readers a choice.

From next Tuesday, The Independent will be available in two sizes. In one of the most important developments in the newspaper's history, The Independent will be on sale in the Greater London area in both the traditional broadsheet size and a new tabloid format, becoming the world's first newspaper to give readers a choice.

The smaller version of The Independent - Britain's only quality tabloid paper - will contain everything you now find in the broadsheet. That means every story, every columnist, every picture, every feature. It will have the same distinctive look and feel and will be informed by the same qualities as the broadsheet, and will be sold, Monday to Friday, in the UK at the same price of 60p.

It will be available initially at retail outlets within the M25 area, but we hope to extend distribution to other areas in the future.

Simon Kelner, the editor-in-chief, said yesterday: "The concept of consumer choice is not a new one across a whole range of products.

"This is the first time this idea has been embraced in the newspaper market. Our readers, particularly those who commute to work, have long expressed a desire for a more convenient format for their newspaper. From Tuesday, we shall be satisfying that need."

Ivan Fallon, chief executive of Independent News and Media Limited (UK), said: "From its inception in 1986, The Independent has always had a tradition of innovation and boldness.

"This initiative, which will provide choice for our readers - and those who are comfortable with the broadsheet will find nothing has changed - once again establishes us at the cutting edge of development in the national newspaper industry."

In advance of Tuesday's launch, senior figures in the media world have already given a positive response to our plans.

Brian MacArthur, media commentator for The Times, said the dummy issues were "impressive".

" The Independent's strategy is clever. By offering an either-or option, the broadsheet faithful are satisfied, those who prefer a tabloid get their wish, and the tabloid may attract new readers."

Andrew Neil, media commentator for the London Evening Standard, wrote: "Judging by the dummy editions, the tabloid Independent certainly looks a serious newspaper."

Claudine Collins, press director at Mediacom, one of Britain's biggest advertising agencies, told The Guardian's Media section: "It's a fantastic idea, because there are a lot of people, myself included, who want a more intelligent read but I cannot go on the train or Tube and read a broadsheet newspaper."

But it's the reaction of you, the readers, that is most important to us. We hope you will appreciate our efforts in giving you a choice.

Should you have any difficulty in purchasing either the broadsheet or the tabloid version from Tuesday, contact our customer services department on 020 7005 2887.

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