Johnston Press completed its £24m acquisition of the i newspaper from the Independent yesterday, launching the first issue under new ownership today (11 April).
Ashley Highfield, chief executive of Johnston Press, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that readers would find no difference in today’s i compared to those on the newsstands last week.
While the content will remain in line with what i has always been - with articles provided by writers from the Independent - Highfield’s i will see further expansion. The paper is now available in Northern Ireland, with the promise of wider distribution across the UK.
The front page reads “i welcomes readers of The Independent”, while reaffirming to readers of the editorial ethos of the paper: “Concise. Quality. Free from party political bias.”
The front page also lists the names of long-standing contributors to the paper, including Grace Dent, Simon Calder and Janet Street-Porter.
The editorial team has been expanded, with the 17-strong staff carried over from the i, contributing towards a 50-strong team, with Oliver Duff maintaining leadership as editor.
The paper’s new website, inews.co.uk, is set to launch soon, following the appointment of Felicity Morse as digital news editor who will build and expand the paper’s online presence.
It comes as part of Johnston Press’ move to core brands through its £25m takeover of the i newspaper while it simultaneously announced it will sell, close or cut costs at 59 local newspapers, which will see the loss of 3,000-plus members of staff.