Russian-owned British newspaper ‘The Independent’ is killing its print edition and going digital only.
The newspaper announced its plans on Friday, noting that the move will allow the paper to remain sustainable and profitable into the future.
“This decision preserves The Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers to our online platforms,” said Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of ‘The Independent.’
Lebedev’s father, Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, bought the paper in 2010.
At the time of acquisition the newspaper was already struggling to maintain its print readers and compete in an ever increasing digital landscape.
Lebedev, who also owns ‘The Evening Standard,’ and the Russian newspaper ‘Novaya Gazeta,’ paid just £1 for the publication.
The newspapers digital version, independent.co.uk, is the “fastest-growing quality newspaper site in the U.K,” according to the company.
The Independent says its online audience has grown 33.3% in the last 12 months to nearly 70 million global unique users.
Circulation data show “The Independent” sold just 56,074 copies on average in December, compared with 166,039 for ‘The Guardian;’ 209,264 sold by the ‘Financial Times;’ and 1.8 million sold by ‘The Sun.’
To help with the digital only transition the company is creating 25 new “digital content roles” and will open offices in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
The company also plans to expand its US operation and remove some “redundancies” from its editorial team.