On 26 March last year The Independent published its final edition, nearly 30 years after it was first founded. A week earlier the Independent on Sunday also bit the dust.
Around 100 journalists are believed to have been made redundant with a further 45 switching from the print edition to the website. A number of other journalists moved over to the i newspaper which was bought by Johnston Press in April 2016.
Free of print and distribution costs, it was a matter of months before a newly digital Independent was in profit. By the end of September (the Indy’s fiscal year end) The Independent was in the black for the first time in 23 years.
Leonard explains: “While print was running, the digital side was profitable. I could see that The Independent’s journalism and its audiences were growing globally and the money with it.
“At the point at which we converted the business wholly to digital we could see that we were going to be profitable for the rest of that period.”