Blackhurst says Indy titles can make a profit
If the Independent could "find a way of monetising digital", then it could erase the title's estimated £20m annual losses, says Independent editor Chris Blackhurst, who has been appointed group editorial director across Independent newspapers and the London Evening Standard.
Chris Blackhurst: joins The Independent's parent company's board
Blackhurst this week joined the boards of the Evening Standard Limited and Independent Print Limited, as well as continuing as editor of The Independent.
Blackhurst told Media Week the reason behind the appointment was that "I think Evgeny [Lebedev] wanted someone from editorial on the board and to play a role in what might happen going forward".
He added: "We have to face facts, the market is tough. Newspapers are facing all sorts of challenges, such as newsprint costs constantly going up. The Independent has never made a profit in 25 years and I think it is remarkable we are still going."
Questioned about the Independent titles ever making a profit, Blackhurst said: "If we find a way of monetising digital, the holy grail, then yes."
How this will be achieved is difficult to ascertain.
The Independent and The Independent on Sunday are thought to lose around £20m a year, although Blackhurst would not confirm this.
The Independent's website is still a minnow compared to rival national newspaper websites.
In February, it registered 6,337,648 monthly users, compared to market-leading MailOnline with 30,569, 240 monthly users.
In October last year, The Independent introduced a revamped website and an international paywall, as it moved to monetise overseas visitors to the website.
But there are no imminent plans to introduce a blanket paywall, such as at The Times website, across the site, according to Blackhurst.
But the four titles are reaping some cost savings.
Already the business and sports desks across the London Evening Standard and The Independent, The Independent on Sunday and i have been merged. They also share resources commercially.
Blackhurst believes one crucial factor is that "all the titles need to maintain their individual identity and characteristics" in the future, although he added that "nothing is ruled out, nothing ruled in".
Follow John Reynolds on Twitter @johnreynolds10
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- PR Account Director fishtank 40k to 55k per year GBP, Surrey
- Digital Search & Acquisitions Officer Topshop Up to £30,000 per annum + benefits, London
- planner > SHOPPER EVANGELIST > brilliant role for those SUITS looking to move across into PLANNING collectivo £30-40k + bens, London
- Marketing Executive Warner Bros £ Competitive + benefits, Holborn, London
- Senior Digital Planner - Superb Integrated London Agency - FMCG Accounts - Up to £70K Fill Recruitment Ltd Up to £70K, London
- Designer/Illustrator/Children's Designer Premier Media plus excellent benefits, Central London
Big Questions Live - Social Media, User Generated Content and the Power of Customer Insight (Webcast) External website
Brand Republic’s first ever online TV show, Big Questions Live wil...
Integrated digital marketing offers huge opportunities to engage, servic...
The PR industry’s lack of success at the Cannes Lions festival 201...
Confused by hashtags? Tweetchats? Tweet walls? You’re not alone.Wi...
It’s fair to say we are truly in the age of content marketing, the...
As a nation, the UK is media and technology obsessed with over half of t...