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New national newspaper New Day hits the streets

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Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror, has launched another daily title.

It claims that the New Day is the first "standalone" national daily in 30 years.

The title, which has an "optimistic approach" and is politically neutral, is aimed at readers who no longer buy a paper.

The launch comes as Trinity reported a £14.4m fall in annual pre-tax profit to £67.2m in a "challenging" print market.

Two million copies of New Day are being distributed free on Monday. It will then cost 25p for two weeks before rising to 50p.

Trinity Mirror hopes to sell about 200,000 copies a day.

Chief executive Simon Fox said the new title "fills a gap in the market for a daily newspaper designed to co-exist in a digital age". It will not have a website.

The New Day is being edited by Alison Phillips, the Mirror's weekend editor.

image copyrightTrinity Mirror
image captionNew Day editor Alison Phillips

She said she aimed to "cover important stories in a balanced way, without telling the reader what to think".

The title would be a standalone product rather than a cut-down version of the Daily or Sunday Mirror, Ms Phillips said, although it will take content from those titles along with Trinity's regional papers and the Press Association news agency.

It has just 25 staff and the publisher hoped it could become profitable quickly.

It is the first new national paper since the launch of i, a slimmed-down version of the Independent, went on sale in October 2010.

Trinity Mirror claims it is the first standalone title since the Independent's own debut in 1986.

The New Day arrives despite declining sales of newspapers as readers increasingly move online.

Newspaper closures

Earlier this month the owner of the Independent titles said the print versions would close at the end of March with only its online edition surviving.

Given the shrinking market Mr Fox told BBC Radio 5 live that more national newspapers could close or merge.

"Although print is difficult it is still a key part of what we do and we still want to protect it," he said.

Many newspaper publishers still make the bulk of their revenues from print editions despite the popularity of reading content online. Advertisers pay more for print rather than digital advertising and print titles also generate revenue from their cover price.

image copyrightGetty Images

However, print advertising has suffered a sharp slide in recent months, with the Daily Mail owner reporting a 20% fall in print revenues at the start of 2016.

Mr Fox said there was still a significant demand for local news, which was one reason why Trinity Mirror had bought rival publisher, Local World, last year for about £187m.

The company said annual revenues were down 6.9% to £592m, but the better than expected figure helped send Trinity Mirror shares up 3.6% in afternoon trading to 158.25p.

However, the shares are still down about 20% over the past 12 months.

Trinity Mirror also said it had put aside £29m in relation to civil claims arising from phone hacking charges.

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