Icelandic free 24 Stundir merges with paid paper

The financial crisis in Iceland will lower the number of free dailies in the country from two to one and the number of newspaper publishers from three to two.

The publisher of free daily Frettabladid – Arvakur hf. – will merge with Posthusid Arvakri, the company publishing paid paper Morgunbladid. Frettabladid, launched in 2001, will become the free sister paper of Morgunbladid.

Free paper 24 Stundir (formerly Bladid, launched in 2005), owned by Posthusid Arvakri will ‘merge’ with Morgunbladid, meaning it will in fact be closed down.

Only paid competitor is tabloid DV, although its circulation (less than 10,000) is marginal compared to Frettabladid (104,000) and Morgunbladid (42,000). 24 Stundir printed around 75,000 copies. (IceNews)

Frettabladid is home delivered seven days a week, while the page count is sometimes more than a 100 pages. It is expected that advertising will drop, which will affect the – expensive – distribution. Readers in more remote areas could be affected.

4 Responses to “Icelandic free 24 Stundir merges with paid paper”

  1. Tuesday squibs : Notes from a Teacher Says:

    [...] Icelandic free 24 Stundir merges with paid paper. The global meltdown, which hit Iceland particularly hard, has claimed a victim or two. [...]

  2. Andreas Says:

    If I get it right, the merger took place between 365 hf. (media section of Dagsbrun and former publisher of Frettabladid) and Posthusid Arvaki what seems to be the section of Arvakur responsible for Morgunbladid.

    Seems to be time for an update of the biggest free daily publishers, right? Dagsbrun, the third nordic force with international ambitions seems to be out of the game. Funny, how this is interpreted as a failure of the business model of free dailies, which it is definetely not!

  3. Piet Bakker Says:

    Yes indeed. Dagsbrun and and their media company 365 are now only a minority shareholder (36.5%) in √Ārvakri that publishes both paid Morgunbladid and free daily Frettabladid.

    Their operations in US (BostonNow) and Denmark (Nyhedsavisen) closed down. Not because the quality of the papers – which actually was quite good – but because of Icelandic financial problems.

    It’s not the proof of the failure of the business model – although indeed many like to see it like that.

  4. Newspaper Innovation » Blog Archive » Frettabladid back to 365media Says:

    [...] After the credit crisis hit Iceland both publishers agreed to merge, with Frettabladid remaining as the only free daily. 24 Stundir was closed on 10 October 2008. (see previous post) [...]