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Archant says goodbye to the High & I

Archant’s Highbury & Islington Express is to close, losing out to the Islington Gazette which the group bought last year.

Sales of the weekly High & I, which is part of the Hampstead and Highgate Express series, have dropped in recent years, and the group has now decided to concentrate its resources on the Gazette, which it bought from Independent News & Media.

The closure will not result in any job losses and the other editions of the Ham & High, which include the Wood & Vale and the Marylebone Express, will continue to be published as normal.

Regional managing editor Richard Thomson said: “It’s always sad when a paper closes. The emotional decision would be to keep the High & I open but the business decision has to be to close.

“The Islington Gazette is a tabloid product which is very successful there whereas the High & I is more cerebral and had difficulty in attracting readers despite large investment.”

Launched in 1996, the High & I originally had its own editor and offices in Islington, but was moved to the Ham & High’s headquarters in Swiss Cottage in 2001 and was edited by Ham & High series editor Geoff Martin.

The Gazette sells around 13,000 copies a week, compared with the High & I which sold less than 2,000.