DMC

New editor for London free business daily City AM

June 9th, 2015

CityAM1000Daily financial freesheet City AM has appointed Christian May, communications chief at the Institute of Directors, as its new editor.

May, who has no senior editorial experience, replaces David Hellier, who is leaving after just eight months as editor.

The 28-year old May, who has experience as a columnist and has contributed to City AM, describes his specialisms on LinkedIn as “speechwriting, campaigning, media strategies and public affairs”.

Chief executive Jens Torpe, who co-founded the paper 10 years ago alongside Lawson Muncaster, said: “As we enter the next decade of City AM, we are delighted to welcome Christian on board as editor. We were extremely impressed by his work at the Institute of Directors and as a contributor for City AM, and believe he has the energy and vision to build on the paper’s reputation within the business community.”

(The Guardian)

Iceland, free newspaper Frettabladid rules

June 1st, 2015

frettabladid 2015Free Icelandic daily Frettabladid was lauched in 2001. It is delivered in greater Reyjavik (and Akureyri in the north) door-to-door in most households and is also available in shops, kiosks, and petrol stations.

Initially it was published six times a week, in September 2003 this was extended to seven days. A few year back the Sunday edition was dropped again.

Circulation in the past years is between 65,000 and 100,000. The paper is the largest newspaper in the country.

The paper changed hands a few times and is now owned by 365 Media, part of the Dagsbrún group.

In May 2005, the second free paper in the country Bladid (newspaper) was launched; 80,000 copies of the new title were distributed door-to-door from Monday till Friday in Reykjavik and surrounding towns. The tabloid counted 32 pages and employed 30 people. In 2008 Bladid closed down.

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Groupe Rossel bids for Schibsted stake in French 20 minutes

May 28th, 2015

20MinutesFranceNorwegian publisher Schibsted has received an offer for its 49.3 percent share in 20 Minutes France from the Belgium Groupe Rossel.

The publisher “is now entering a phase of exclusive negotiation. If agreement on terms is reached, the deal is subject to a standard approval process with the French Competition Authorities. The transaction is estimated to close around October 2015.”

Rossel owns newspapers, magazines and websites in French Belgium (Le Soir, La Meuse) and the north of France (La Voix du Nord). It also has a stake in Belgium commercial broadcter RTL. In total it owns dozen of media brands.

The remaining shares of 10 Minutes are owned by groupe SIPA-Ouest-France, also owning regional newspapers in France.

The group said on their website that the plan were to strenghten the 20 Minutes brand.

Schibsted:

“If the deal goes through we strongly believe that Rossel will be a good new shareholder for 20 Minutes in France. Rossel is a major player in news media in Belgium, with solid presence in France ; it shares the same publishing values as Ouest France, 20 Minutes’ other reference shareholder, and as such gives 20 Minutes a perspective of continuity. Over the last 13 years, Ouest France proved a solid and trustworthy partner in 20 Minutes; we wish them all the best for the future,” says Pierre-Francois Marteau, Senior Vice President of Strategy at Schibsted and former Chair of the Board at 20 Minutes France.

20 Minutes is the leading free daily in France, second is Direct Matin. Third paper Metro (now Metronews, owned by TF1) is about to be closed.

france_2002_2014

Metro France about to close down in print

May 25th, 2015

metro_france_kioskThe chances that Metro France will be published in 2016 are slim. TF1, the commercial broadcaster that owns the paper since 2011, is thinking about closing the paper.

The president of TF1 announced that 60 people (out of a 100) will lose the job at the third (after 20 Minutes and Matin Plus) free paper in France.

IN 2014 the paper lost € 10 million. It stopped publisher on hollidays and even on other day when they expect little advertising. These savings were noyt enough.

A digital-only future for Metro will an option. (Les Echo’s)

No. 15 in a 67-part series: Hungary, 17 years of Metro

February 17th, 2015
Hungary
The Hungarian edition of Metro (Metro International) was first published on September 7, 1998 in Budapest, April 2, 2001 a national edition was launched. In the first half year of 2004 Metro was the third read paper in the country, in the third quarter is was already second (after Blikk) with 600 thousand readers. Metro expanded the national edition on March 31 2005 to five more cities and distributes in 24 cities. In 2005 a 10% minority shareholder was bought out. After a lawsuit between Metro Hungary and Metro Cash & Carry AG in August 2008 Metro had to change its name to Metropol. Metro and Axel Springer (regional newspapers, Sunday paper, business paper and magazines) will join forces in Hungary, first on printing, later perhaps on advertising. In January 2010 Metropol moved to the half-Berliner format like Metro in the Czech Republic.
March 2007 Busz lanched. The paper was mostly distributed by hand in Budapest in 30 locations. During two days another daily publication Vonat (train) was published, according to the publisher this title would be back in September 2007. Publisher was Frenk Reklám és Kiadó Kft. Weekly free paper BuszPlusz was later distributed outside the capital. In the beginning of June 2007 Busz closed down.

metro_Hungary_2011The Hungarian edition of Metro (Metro International) was launched on September 7, 1998 in Budapest. In April 2001 a national edition started.

In 2004 Metro became the second paper in the country (after Blikk). Metro expanded the national edition on in 2005 to five more cities.

After a lawsuit between Metro Hungary and Metro Cash & Carry AG in August 2008 Metro had to change its name to Metropol.

In 2010 Metropol moved to the half-Berliner format like Metro in the Czech Republic.

In 2011 Metro was sold to Megapolis Media Inc for €700,000. The Metro edition continued as as a franchise in Hungary. The publisher has strong ties to the government.

busz.jpg

March 2007 Busz lanched. The paper was mostly distributed by hand in Budapest. During two days another daily publication Vonat (train) was published, according to the publisher this title would be back in September 2007 but it never did.

Publisher Frenk Reklám és Kiadó Kft closed Busz in June 2007.

Total curculation in Hungary was above 400,000 copies in 2007 (the Busz-period), it is now around 400,000 again according to the publisher.

hungary1998_2014

No. 14 in a 67-part series: Sweden, birth of the free daily

February 13th, 2015

Metro1995Twenty years ago, Metro launched in Stockholm, Sweden (right the first edition). After one year circulation grew to more than 200,000. Editions for Göteborg and Skane (Malmö) were added in 1998 and 1999.

In 2004 the Skane edition (Malmö, Lund) was extended to Landskrona and Helsingborg. In October 2004 a national (Riks) edition was launched. This last edition was terminated in 2013. Metro has a circulation of 580,000 and is the newspaper with the highest circulation in Sweden.

Metro launched afternoon free paper Everyday in August 2000, to prevent another afternoon paper, Stockholm News to enter the market. Stockholm News was nevertheless launched in September but lasted only until the end of December of that year. Everyday was taken from the market in March 2001.

city_stockholm_2011In October 2002, Swedish leading publisher Bonnier (Dagens Nyheter, Expressen) launched Stockholm City to compete with Metro. City started Göteborg and Malmö editions in September 2006. The Göteborg edition was closed down in December 2007. City Stockholm went non-daily in 2008.

Free daily Xtra in Helsingborg was converted in August 2008 to City Helsingborg. In November 2008, City Landskrona, was launched by Helsingborgs Dagblad. Both editions closed in 2012.

Local papers Östgöta Correspondenten and Norrköpings Tidningars launched Extra Ostergotland in October 2004 in Norrköping and Linköping.

punktse_stockholm.jpgSchibsted, publisher of leading daily Aftonbladet, launched Punkt SE in October 2006 in Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö/Lund. The logo was very similar to that of AftonbladetPunkt SE closed in May 2008 after the sale of 35% of Metro Sweden was completed.

Paid paper Upsala Nya Tidning launched 18 Minuter May 2009. It closed in 2013.

Total curculation of free newsppers n Sweden increased to 1.4 million in 2006. In 2009 after the closures of Punkt and City it dropped to 700,000.

Inn 2015 only Metro (Stockholm, Malmö, Göteborg), City (Malmö, Lund) and Extra Ostergotland remain.

sweden_1995_2015

No. 13 in a 67-part series: Greece – free dailies Grexit

February 11th, 2015

metroGreece2010In November 2000 Metro launched in Greece. Voisins Limited bought Metro in 2010, the paper closed down in 2012.

City Press was published from 2003 on in Athens and Thessaloniki. In June 2008, it launched the first free Greek Sunday paper: Free Sunday. In the summer of 2013 City Press closed down as the last Greek national free daily.

citypress2012Miso-Miso (half sports, half general news) was published in Athens, probably from 2004 untill 2007 or 2008. It was said to move to a paid model, but there is no proof of that. Circulation and publisher are unkown.

Metropolis started in 2004 in Athens but went weekly later, probably in 2010. The paper claimed a circulation of 100,000.

magnesiaSince January 2007 a free daily is published in Volos. The city has a population of 80,000 and is situated on the East coast, halfway between Athens and Thessaloniki. Free daily Magnesia, with its title taken from the region’s name, is distributed Tuesday to Saturday within the town centre and the outskirts of Volos.

Total circulation in Greece increased from 140,000 in 2000 to 350,000 in 2010, after the closures of Metropolis, Metro and City Press, only local free daily Magnesia remains.

greece

On November 13, 2000 Metro (Metro International) was launched. In the summer of 2004 an Olympic edition (English and Greek, in cooperation with TF1 Eurosport) was published. A 3% minority shareholder was bought out. Also a monthly magazine is published. From October 22, 2004 a weekend edition is published in Thessaloniki.
City Press is published by an independent publisher from 2003 on in Athens and Thessaloniki. On June 22 2008, it launched the first free Greek Sunday paper: Free Sunday.
Miso-Miso (half sports, half general news) is published in Athens, the paper probably started in 2004. Nothing is known about the publisher nor the circulation, it is said that it moved to all paid distribution in 2007 or 2008.
Metropolis started in 2004 in Athens and went weekly later, probably in 2010.
Since January 2007 a free daily is published in Volos. The city has a population of 80,000 and is situated on the East coast, halfway between Athens and Thessaloniki. Free daily Magnesia, with its title taken from the region’s name, is distributed Tuesday to Saturday within the town centre and the outskirts of Vo

No. 12 in a 67-part series: Germany – 11 failures

February 9th, 2015

15uhrThe largest newspaper market in Europe has no free dailies. Not any more. In fact, the country was one the first with free newspapers, it saw a real free newspaper war, and has a history of 17 years of free dailies, ending in 2013.

15 Uhr Aktuell (15 Uhr Aktuell Verlag) started in Berlin on October 26, 1998; the Hamburg edition started April 19 1999; the Munich edition in the fall of 1999. All editions ended on February 22, 2000. Publishers accused Springer and other publishers to put pressure on banks not to loan more money to 15 Uhr Aktuell.
The Cologne newspaper war started when 20 Minuten (Schibsted) launched in Köln on December 13, 1999. On the same day Köln Extra (Alex Springer Verlag, Bild) entered the market while a third free paper Kölner Morgen from local publisher DuMont Schauberg (Express) was launched on February 11, 2000. Köln Extra and Kölner Morgen closed down when 20 Minuten left Cologne in July 2001.
As a result of a court order 20 Minuten suspended publication part of January and February – other publishers sued Schibsted because of unfair competition. In 2007, a higher court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) decided that they could not decide. Because 20 minuten was shut down the issue was resolved. A spokesman for Dumont explained that this means that “no publisher who wants to publish a free daily in Germany can be sure that the court will not stop them”.
The Extra-concept was later tested in Mainz as a compact paid newspaper, Der Spiegel launched the cheap tabloid Der Tag – ended April 1999. These experiments soon ended but other publishers embraced the compact paper. The compact concept is also used for cheap (50 eurocents) editions of Welt Kompakt (Axel Springer), News (Handelsblatt – until 2006) and Direkt from the DuMont Schauberg group (all in 2004). 20 Cent (Holtzbrinck Verlag) started earlier in Cotbus (later in Saarbrücken).
Travelers on first class DB trains are familiar with the compact free daily paper.
- Der Spiegel experimented with ICE-Press, a paper printed on the ICE-trains (November 1997 – April 30, 1999), this proved to be too costly in the end.
- Financial Times Deutschland (Pearson / Gruner + Jahr) launched FTD Kompakt (16 pages, one in English) in February for first class travellers in ICE trains. It closed in 2006. In 2008 G + J bought all the shares of FTD.
- In first class trains and the business class of the Lufthansa flights passengers get a special free Handelsblat edition: Handelsblatt News am Abend. The paper moved in 2007 to competitor Air Berlin. The paper closed in of 2009.
- October 2006, Deutsche Sportverlag (DSV) and airline Lufthansa launched Die Sportzeitung, a free daily devoted to sports and available every day from 5:30 on in 12 German airports. Die Sportzeitung tested paid distribution through kiosks from 2007 on for 90ct in a limited number of places. In April 2007 the paper closed down.
- In January 2007 business class Lufthansa travelers got Süddeutsche Zeitung Primetime from 16:00 on. The A4-paper had 12 to 16 pages. The paper was a downsized version of the Munich based Süddeutsche Zeitung. It closed down in November 2009. Primetime was also available as pdf-newsletter for registered users of SZ.
- German publisher Axel Springer (Bild Zeitung, Die Welt) joined the free dailies club in January 2007. Their cheap (70ct) tabloid Welt Kompakt was made available for free in German first class trains.
Holtzbrinck Verlag (Handelsblatt, Witschaftswoche, Tagesspiegel) launched Business News in August 2006, the successor of the compact News that was launched in 2004 in Frankfurt. Circulation of News (50 cents) was probably never more than a few thousand although the company aimed at 25,000. Launch date, content, circulation and the way of distribution (through 1000 office buildings) indicate that Holtzbrinck did not want to upset other German publishers. But the Business News launch did not lead to spoiler products, like Springer’s Gratissimo, which was announced in case Schibsted (20 Minuten) or Metro International would launch in Europe’s biggest newspaper market. The 32-page paper launched in eight markets and was made by a staff of 30. It used the resources of other Holtzbrinck papers and competed with Wirtschaftswoche, Handelsblatt (with which Business News offers joint advertising) and Financial Times Deutschland. In June 2007 the paper closed down.
Metro planed a German launch in the fall of 2005 and talked with potential partners. One of the possible partners was Alex Springer Verlag, a letter of intent was rumoured to be already signed. Also the publisher of Germany’s biggest regional paper Westdeutsche Algemeine Zeitung (Essen) was talking with Metro. Talks between WAZ and Metro three years ago lead to nothing. Schibsted was talking with RTL (Bertelmann). Berliner Verlag was also ready for a freebie launch.
The first launches of 20 Minuten (2005 or 2006) would be in Berlin (224,000), the Ruhr-area (187,000), Hamburg (165,000), Stuttgart (162,000), Cologne & Bonn (155,000), Frankfurt & Wiesbaden (154,000), Munich (131,000) and Düsseldorf (95,000). Dresden & Leipzig, Mannheim & Ludwigshafen, Hannover, Nürnberg, Bremen, Münster & Karlsruhe would later, extending the circulation from 1.1 to 2 million. Schibsted was talking with Schleswig-Holsteinischen Zeitungsverlag (Flensburg) about printing. Bild was preparing Gratissimo – Die kostenlose Tageszeitung für Deutschland to launch in 8 to 15 cities. Between 8 and 12 local publishers, led by Cologne company DuMont Schauberg asked the Bundeskartellamt (Office of Fair Trading) if a combined action (free daily) will be a violation of the German competition rules. DuMont was one of the parties in the Geman freebie war of 2000-2001 and then tried to have free papers forbidden altogether by the courts – a claim that was not accepted in 2003. Schibsted announced in that it would not start in Germany in 2006 but also revealed that it planned to launch free papers in one or two other ‘smaller’ countries.

15 Uhr Aktuell started in Berlin in 1998; in Hamburg and Munich in 1999. All editions closed down 2000.

20minkolnThe Cologne newspaper war started when 20 Minuten (Schibsted) launched in Köln in December 1999. On the same day Köln Extra (Alex Springer Verlag) entered the market while a third free paper Kölner Morgen from local publisher DuMont Schauberg (Express) was launched in February, 2000. Köln Extra, Kölner Morgen and 20 Minuten closed in July 2001.

koelnextraOther publishers sued Schibsted because of unfair competition. In 2007, the Bundesverfassungsgericht decided that they could not decide. Because 20 Minuten shut down, the issue was not resolved.

Travelers on first class DB trains and domestic flights are familiar with the compact free daily paper.

  • Der Spiegel experimented with ICE-Press, a paper printed on the ICE-trains (1997 – 1999).
  • Financial Times Deutschland launched FTD Kompakt in 2003 for first class travellers in ICE trains. It closed in 2006.
  • sportzeitungIn first class trains and the business class of the Lufthansa flights passengers got a special free Handelsblat edition: Handelsblatt News am Abend (1997). The paper moved in 2007 to competitor Air Berlin. The paper closed in of 2009.
  • In 2006, Deutsche Sportverlag (DSV) and airline Lufthansa launched Die Sportzeitung in 12 German airports. In 2007 the paper closed down.
  • In 2007 business class Lufthansa travelers got Süddeutsche Zeitung Primetime. The A4-paper had 12 to 16 pages. The paper was a downsized version of the Munich based Süddeutsche Zeitung. It closed down in November 2009. Primetime was also available as pdf-newsletter for registered users of SZ.
  • WeltAktuell2010Axel Springer (Bild Zeitung, Die Welt) distributed Welt Aktueel in first class trains between 2010 and 2013.

Holtzbrinck Verlag (Handelsblatt, Witschaftswoche, Tagesspiegel) launched Business News in August 2006, successor of News (2004) in Frankfurt. In June 2007 the paper closed down.

Metro planed a German launch in the fall of 2005 and talked with potential partners. One of the possible partners was Alex Springer Verlag. Also Westdeutsche Algemeine Zeitung (Essen) has been talking with Metro.

Schibsted was talking with RTL (Bertelmann), 20 Minuten wanted to launch in almost 20 markets, extending circulation to 2 million.

Bild has been preparing GratissimoDie kostenlose Tageszeitung für Deutschland – to launch in 8 to 15 cities. It never materialized.

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No. 11 in a 67-part series: France – the odd one out

February 3rd, 2015

Metro_Paris_2012The circulation of free newspapers in Europe tends to go down in almost every market. But not in France.

It has been almost stable with a total of 2.5 million copies a day since 2007, even after the only evening paper, Direct Soir, closed down in 2010.

But this may very well change in the next few months. In Januari both Metronews and 20 Minutes did not distribute the papers on five days because of a shortage of paid ads. The advertising market in France still looks very bleak. In 2014 all three titles decided to talk about a merger – or a sale of 20 Minutes. None of the three papers makes a profit now, and with all all them competing for the same advertisers, none of them will in the following years.

Metro

Metro entered the French market in February 2002 in Paris and Marseille; it expanded to Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg and Languedoc. In 2003 commercial broadcaster TF1 acquired a 34.3% stake. In 2011 it took complete control of Metro, now called Metronews. Of the 14 editions 11 remain.

Metro entered the French market in February 2002 in Paris and Marseille; it expanded to Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg and Languedoc. In 2003 commercial broadcaster TF1 acquired a 34.3% stake. In 2011 it took complete control of Metro, now called Metronews. Of 14 to 11 editions.
20 Minutes (Schibsted, Sofiouest/SPIR) was introduced first in Paris and Marseille; later in Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nantes, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Rennes, Metz and Nancy.
The introduction of free papers in Paris in 2002 was met with great resistance by communist trade union CGT and led to a newspaper war; hawkers and truck drivers were attacked while papers were destroyed. Also in Marseille the union disturbed distribution, a police escort was needed to get the papers from the Avignon printing plant to Marseilles. Paid papers attacked the new papers in their editorials. Peace evolved after negotiations between Metro France, 20 Minutes France and the trade unions. The papers would be partly printed on CGT-controlled presses (under union-controlled conditions).
Hachette Filipacchi Médias (La Provence) countered Metro in Marseille with Marseilleplus in February 2002. Other local publishers, organized in La Presse Quotidien Regional (PQR) followed with Lilleplus, Lyonplus, Toulonplus and Bordeaux7 in 2004 and Montpellier Plus in 2005.
In 2007 the 3rd Paris free morning paper launched. MatinPlus, owned by the Bolloré group (70%) and Le Monde (30%). MatinPlus changed its name to DirectMatin in 2008. In the following years BretangePlus (later: Direct Nantes), Direct Nice and Direct Toulouse. The papers operate now jointly with the ‘Plus’ free papers in Bordeaux, Marseille, Lille, Lyon and Montpellier.
French commercial TV-owner Vincent Bolleré started evening paper Direct Soir in 2006 in Paris and 15 local markets. In closed in 2010.Metro entered the French market in February 2002 in Paris and Marseille; it expanded to Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg and Languedoc. In 2003 commercial broadcaster TF1 acquired a 34.3% stake. In 2011 it took complete control of Metro, now called Metronews. Of 14 to 11 editions.

20minutes_grenoble_201320 Minutes

20 Minutes (Schibsted, Sofiouest/SPIR) was introduced first in Paris and Marseille; later in Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nantes, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Rennes, Metz and Nancy. Of the 16 editions 13 remain.

The introduction of free papers in Paris in 2002 was met with great resistance by communist trade union CGT and led to a newspaper war; hawkers and truck drivers were attacked while papers were destroyed. Also in Marseille the union disturbed distribution, a police escort was needed to get the papers from the Avignon printing plant to Marseilles. Paid papers attacked the new papers in their editorials. Peace evolved after negotiations between Metro France, 20 Minutes France and the trade unions. The papers would be partly printed on CGT-controlled presses (under union-controlled conditions).

directmatin2009DirectMatin

Hachette Filipacchi Médias (La Provence) countered Metro in Marseille with Marseilleplus in February 2002. Other local publishers, organized in La Presse Quotidien Regional (PQR) followed with Lilleplus, Lyonplus, Toulonplus and Bordeaux7 in 2004 and Montpellier Plus in 2005.

In 2007 the 3rd Paris free morning paper launched. MatinPlus, owned by the Bolloré group (70%) and Le Monde (30%). MatinPlus changed its name to DirectMatin in 2008. In the following years BretangePlus (later: Direct Nantes), Direct Nice and Direct Toulouse. The papers operate now jointly with the ‘Plus’ free papers in Bordeaux, Marseille, Lille, Lyon and Montpellier. There are 11 editions new, there were 14 some years ago.

Direct Soir

French commercial TV-owner Vincent Bolleré started evening paper Direct Soir in 2006 in Paris and 15 local markets. In closed in 2010.

france_2002_2014

Book on 20 years of Metro

February 2nd, 2015
Konsten att skaffa sig fiender i hela världen : historien om Metro
av Sakari Pitkänen

konsten-att-skaffa-sig-fiender-i-hela-varlden-historien-om-metroSakari Pitkänen, former long-time employee (editor in chief) of Metro wrote a book on 20 year history of the free Metro newspaper: “Konsten att skaffa sig fiender i hela världen: historien om Metro” (The art of making enemies in the whole  world: the story of Metro).

If the title don’t convince you, the short description will (translation with Google from Swedish): “The history of the Metro contains assault with automatic weapons, employees who are abused and directors who are put in jail.

On 13 February 1995 the first issue of Metro appeared. This book ‘celebrates’ its history. Sakari Pitkänen is the former executive editor of Metro International, which the world’s largest newspaper with a circulation of over 20 million copies a day.