After various cryptic statements by Independent owner Alexander Lebedev over the fast few months (and not-so-cryptic moves: Lebedev’s son, Evgeny, has stepped down from the newspaper’s board), it finally seems the newspaper is looking for a new home.
The paper has come a long way since Lebedev bought it for £1 back in 2010, most notably through the launch of the I, its bite-sized sister title. But that wasn’t enough to save the title: its ABC figures show that in August, circulation dropped to 69,000, from 82,000 the year before (although I’s figure rose, from 282,000 to 295,000).
According to a report by the Guardian, Andreas Whittam Smith, who founded the paper in 1986, has been authorised to seek a buyer – although there is no formal board mandate to sell it.
Chances are he’s seeing whether anyone will bite – although if Lebedev, who transformed the fortunes of the Evening Standard, can’t do it, others won’t exactly be encouraged. If you fancy a go at being a press baron, you know who to call...