The first editions of the i newspaper under its new Johnston Press ownership rolled off the presses last night.
The publisher of 228 local and regional titles has hailed the “transformational” aquisition of the cut-price national daily, bought for £24m from Evgeny Lebedev’s Independent Print Limited.
The deal, originally announced on 12 February, was formally completed last night.
JP chief executive Ashley Highfield is pictured below with the inaugural edition under the company’s ownership.
“i is a highly regarded newspaper with a clear market position and a loyal readership. By joining with Johnston Press the combined circulation will be equal to 9pc of national daily circulation, making us the fourth largest player in the market.
“This enhanced reach represents a significant growth opportunity for Johnston Press in terms of national print and advertising revenue. It also rebalances our revenues towards less volatile circulation revenues.
“With our considerable digital experience the combination of Johnston Press and i will also allow us to grow digital audiences and revenues through the creation of inews.co.uk.”
The i’s editor Oly Duff last week announced Felicity Morse as editor of its new companion website inews.co.uk.
Added Ashley: “We have a great new team in place at i under the editorial leadership of Oly Duff and look forward to working with them as we deliver the next phase of Johnston Press’ strategy.”