British daily broadsheet The Independent plans to launch its tabloid-sized version nationwide by the new year.

Six weeks ago, the paper began printing in two formats in the Greater London area -- becoming the first title in the world to offer two sizes at the same time [WAMN: 26-Sep-03]. The experiment has since been extended to the north-west of England and the south coast.

Despite initial doubts among industry observers, the tabloid format has proved a success for The Independent, part of Sir Anthony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media empire. The paper's circulation rose by 7.7% in October [WAMN: 10-Nov-03], prompting rumours that rival broadsheets The Times and the Daily Telegraph are mulling similar moves.

The nationwide rollout is thought by many to precede the eventual phasing out of the broadsheet version -- a view lent weight by comments from IN&M's British ceo Ivan Fallon, who revealed the paper would experiment with just the tabloid format in some cities in the UK and Ireland.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff