Independent confirms print editions to close today

Over 150 staff face losing their jobs

Evgeny Lebedev

Evgeny Lebedev, February 2015

Independent owner Evgeny Lebedev is expected to announce the closure of the print editions of Independent and Independent on Sunday titles later today.

The Independent has been in print since 1986, and would have reached its 30th anniversary in October this year.

Lebedev, who has owned the paper since 2010 and launched the slimmed-down print version the i, is understood to be selling the i to the owner of The Scotsman, the Johnston Press.

Many of the 150 staff at the Independent and also those at the i now face the prospect of losing their jobs.

According to the Guardian, between 20 and 40 employees will move over to Johnston press to work on the i, while about 25 will continue to work on the Independent’s continuing digital presence.

The Independent was seen as a centre/left paper since its initial publication, carrying the banner: “Free from party political bias, free from proprietorial influence”.

Lebedev dropped the banner in 2011.

At the 2015 general election the paper surprised many of its readers and indeed its own journalists when a leader was printed ahead of voting, supportive of David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s coalition government.

Lebedev’s other title, the Evening Standard also endorsed Cameron ahead of the election.

***Update***

The closure of the papers has now been confirmed.

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