No plans to make i free under Lebedevs

Evgeny Lebedev: owner of the i newspaper
Evgeny Lebedev: owner of the i newspaper

There are no plans to turn the 20p digest national newspaper i into a free title under the current ownership of the Lebedevs, sources have told Marketing.

Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian owner of the i, gave a recent interview in which he floated the idea of turning the i into a freesheet, mirroring a similar move he made with the London Evening Standard.

Lebedev told the Sunday Times, "That’s something we’re definitely looking at."

However, sources have told Marketing that Lebedev offered the idea as a means to encourage new investment into the i and The Independent titles.

One well-placed source said: "There are no plans to turn the i free under the current owners."

It is well documented that Evgeny Lebedev and his father Alexander Lebedev, who also own The Independent and the London Evening Standard titles, are looking for a "minority partner" to invest in The Independent.

It is understood that the Lebedevs think that part-ownership of the UK's first free national newspaper would be a considerable lure to new investors, against the backdrop of a struggling paid-for national newspaper market.

The Independent is forecast to makes losses of £14m in the coming year. The Lebedevs are looking for a minority partner, in an effort to achieve forecast profits of up to £18m by the end of 2015.

Two years after acquiring a 75.1% stake in the Evening Standard from the Daily Mail & General Trust, the Lebedevs turned it into the London Evening Standard freesheet.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message