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Trinity Mirror to launch new cut-price tabloid

17 Feb 2016  |  Ellen Hammett 
Trinity Mirror to launch new cut-price tabloid

The publisher of the Daily Mirror is set to unveil a new cut-price tabloid newspaper this month, according to reports - just days after The Independent announced the closure of its print operations.

Newsline understands that New Day will launch on 29 February for an initial 20p cover price - the same price that the i, which was last week bought by Johnston Press for £24m, first launched with back in 2010. However, the price is expected to increase depending on reader demand.

The news comes following ESI Media's decision to terminate The Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers and move them wholly online - the first national newspapers to do so.

ESI Media CEO, Steve Auckland, confirmed on Friday there will be redundancies among editorial staff as a result of the move, estimated at around 100, while 50 i staff are expected to move over to new owner Johnston Press.

The weekday and weekend editions of the Indy currently sell around 150,000 copies between them each week, while the Mirror and Sunday Mirror succeed 1.5m. Meanwhile, the i sells around 268,500 copies.

A source briefed by Trinity Mirror told the Guardian that New Day will aim for a 'Mail and Express-type audience', but that it is not looking to take the i's market.

"A sort of everything for everyone paper in the mid-market rather than a direct attempt at entering the quality market like i," the source said. "I don't think you could say it is an attempt to take the market of i."

It is thought that New Day will launch with a print run of 1m; however, like its cover price, will depend on consumer demand.

Alex DeGroote, media analyst, Peel Hunt

There is a never a dull moment in UK newspapers. Shortly after the Johnston Press (JPR) £24m deal to buy the i, comes the news that TNI is to launch its own cut-price daily ('New Day'). This is not a major surprise in itself, but still a bold and competitive response to rapidly changing market dynamics.

With a likely cover price of 25p or less, New Day will go head-to-head with the i, as well as the likes of The Star, where the cover price has been lowered in recent times.

Trinity's knowledge of the market is intimate, and the promo budget for New Day will be significant. An ambitious print run of > 1m would not surprise us.

At the same time, a successful new paper risks cannibalising the much more expensive Daily Mirror. A female editorial skew will position the new paper directly with the Daily Mail, which is the most fearsome competitor in Fleet St.

The i, with a paid-for daily circulation of > 250k has proved the market exists for new formats. However, its own longevity will now be tested to the full.

The i cover price of 40p already looks vulnerable. All of this comes against a backdrop of chronic print advertising weakness across the industry. JPR's skills as a national proprietor will be tested right away

Investors are generally cynical of price wars in the newspaper market, as it invariably hits margins. It remains to be seen if more new formats will enlarge the market for paid-for newspapers (copy sales). Only if it does this, can we begin to think about an improved outlook for print advertising.

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