Murdoch wields broadsword in broadsheet battle: NEWSPAPER PRICE WAR: 'Times' surrenders further pounds 15m pursuing target of one million copies a day and profit in five years
By slicing a further 10p off the paper's price (the Saturday paper comes down to 30p) what was once marketed as the top people's paper is surrendering an estimated further pounds 15m in lost revenue as it continues a long-term strategy of aiming to sell one million copies a day and eventual profit in perhaps five years time - the precise position of its arch-rival, the Daily Telegraph.
Peter Stothard said last night the move did not undermine the Times, by appearing to place it on a par with the Sun. 'The response from our readers so far is that they appreciated the paper at 30p. They thought a quality paper should be 30p.' He pointed to the strengths of the paper's columnists.
Stephen Grabiner, newly appointed managing director of the Daily Telegraph said: 'Is this sufficiently low to reflect the value of the Times? We think 30p is the right price for us, and we don't intend to change our position. We debated long and hard about whether to go to 35p, 30p or 25p. We knew that Rupert Murdoch would respond.'
Both groups are due to transfer their battle to the TV screens, launching large advertising campaigns, but the Daily Telegraph is partly funding this pounds 1m cost by cutting out the expensive offers of cut price holidays and cassette tapes it has been using to attract readers. It is also expected to examine budgets for cuts next year.
Max Hastings, editor of the Daily Telegraph, said he was in no doubt that cutting its price had been the right move. 'Murdoch has said he sees three national newspapers surviving, the Times, Daily Mail and the Sun. He is determined to take whatever action he can. We will not lie down in his path.' The Daily Telegraph is also preparing to add more right-wing political bite to its centre pages, through the appointment of a new deputy editor, Simon Heffer.
The Guardian, priced 45p, was silent on any future plans, as were the Daily Mail and Daily Express (both 32p), although Lord Rothermere, chairman of Associated Newspapers - which owns the extremely buoyant Daily Mail - is known to be actively considering how to respond.
Robert Thompson, deputy circulation manager at News International, said yesterday had seen a fair measure of dual newspaper purchasing by consumers as they sampled the cut-price paper: the Independent, at 20p for a day, was a beneficiary. The paper's own calculations showed a 68,000 rise in sales, to 331,000, while the Telegraph estimated its 30p offer had put on 5 per cent in extra sales. Sales of the Guardian and the Times were estimated to have fallen by about 65,000.
The moves have sent ripples throughout the industry, with large regional groups fearfully eyeing their prospects and prices. Magnus Linklater, editor of the Scotsman, published in Edinburgh and priced at 42p, said: 'The Telegraph is very much a major rival. We just can't stay out of it. At the moment we are holding our price.'
- 1 2015 General Election: Green party will not appear in TV debate alongside Ukip – says BBC
- 2 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 3 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 4 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
- 5 Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Elizabeth Norment dead: House of Cards actress honoured by Kevin Spacey after she dies aged 61
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism
£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...
£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experienc...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...