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

RUPERT MURDOCH threw the newspaper industry into fresh turmoil last night by decreeing, after a discussion with Peter Stothard, editor of the Times, that weekday copies of the newspaper would cost 20p from this morning, the same price as his mass market Sun.

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.'

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Sport
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa
football
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn