This blog has charted decline of newspapers for the last two years but the sale today of The Independent for just £1 is proof if any were needed that the value has gone out of print. Less than ten years after the New York Times paid over a billion dollars for a city paper (the Boston Globe), a UK national title changes hands for small change.
The Independent has been bought by the Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev, who acquired the London Evening Standard last year, and has been in the market to secure for the Independent for some months. The deal includes the Independent on Sunday and follows a year in which the Independent titles lost £12.4m.
Even though the titles have been snapped up for close to nothing there must remain a question mark as to whether the ex KGB man has actually got a good deal. Earlier today at the AGM of the North West Creative & Media Industries, Sara Wilde-McKeowan the Regional Managing Director of Trinity Mirror who acquired the Manchester Evening News a few weeks ago decribed being in the newspaper business as “like skiing downhill unsure as to whether there will be a soft landing”.
It’s an odd and sobering thought to think that for the price you paid for a single copy of the Independent at your local newsagents this morning you could have bought the whole shebang.