Indy Editor's Email to Staff

As you all know, every company in our industry is being hit by two forces.

One is a recession which has hit advertising hard. The other is the growth of digital media.

All of you are aware too, that for the past three and more years, the Lebedev family has poured many tens of millions into their newspapers.

While we continue to enjoy their support, we must do what we can to save money and to make our business ever more efficient.

Unfortunately, this means that we must lose more jobs at Independent Print Limited. We envisage this will be 27, including regular casual workers.

On this occasion, these will be compulsory, on the current redundancy terms.

Other areas of our business are expanding.

On independent.co.uk, we will be adding 9 new positions, rising to 20 within 6 months. On London Live, our new TV station, we will be creating 60 jobs over the coming year.

It is possible that some of those leaving us may be able to switch to the website or TV channel. I must stress, though, that this number is likely to be small because of the different skill-sets they require.

Last Friday, I presented a proposal to the Board of Independent Print Limited, outlining how I believe, with these cuts, The Independent can be sustained in print form.

We will be producing a new-look Independent. It will be redesigned to make more of our strengths in analysis, commentary and longer reads. It will be very different from i and will be unique in the UK newspaper marketplace.

Together with The Independent on Sunday and i-paper, we will still report news, of course, and break exclusive stories – as we have done repeatedly in the past fortnight alone.

But across Home and Foreign News, as well as Business, Sport, Arts and Features, our focus will shift.

It is important to state that the Board of Independent Print Limited, and the Lebedev family, strongly support my proposal for the new-look paper.

They recognise that The Independent and Independent on Sunday have successfully merged to create a 7-day operation.

They recognise that The Independent is our flagship title, hugely respected both at home and abroad.

They recognise that it feeds both the i newspaper and independent.co.uk

But they also have a stark financial reality to consider.

I personally understand how painful the threat of redundancy can be.

Those at risk of redundancy will be contacted this afternoon. I hope that the process we are embarking on can be completed as soon as possible.

There is a real and purposeful future for all the Independent titles, but only if they operate within the budget which the Board of Independent Print Limited has provided.

We talked about taking questions at this point, but out of respect for those affected we will be contacting them first.

Anyone else who has questions please come to see me, Chris, Sean or Doug in our offices this afternoon.

Thank you.




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