Ukraine free daily Obzor closes

After finding no buyer for Ukraine free daily Obzor, (see pevious post) Dutch owner TMG (Telegraaf Media Group) decided to close down the paper. The December 26 issue is likely to be the last.

On today’s frontpage (left) of the paper, editor in chief Yuri Svirko, however, is asking for new investors. According to Svirko, Obzor is the third popular paper in Ukraine capital Kiev.

In a recent comment on this blog, Svirko is offering the paper for €1,-.

Obzor started in 2006 as a three-times a week paper, in 2007 it was converted into a daily. The website was recently redesigned.

3 Responses to “Ukraine free daily Obzor closes”

  1. Bart Brouwers Says:

    Very, very sad news. We helped start it up in 2006 and were happy to see the paper getting better and better. All the best to the makers of Obzor today and thanks for all the fine papers you all made. Kiev will miss you a lot!

  2. Yuri Svirko Says:

    On 24 December Telegraaf Media Group had announced the closure of Obzor.

    The announcement came with a statement by Josja Zijlstra that a certain Westers media company initially had okayed the purchase of Obzor but the positive decision was overrulled by its board of directors. Ms Zijlstra also told me she was ready to sell the brand Obzor to me for EUR 1,-.

    The director of Telegraaf News Media Ltd. (Ukraine’s TNM) Mr Borysko had signed an order dated 24 December 2008 to stop issuing Obzor and to sack all the 47 employees of TNM. Nonetheless, the Law of Ukraine of 16.11.1992 № 2782-XII On Printed Mass Media (Press) in Ukraine envisages that the publisher cannot stop issuing a newspaper without a prior consent of the editorial staff. Moreover, the publisher should have the statute of the editorial staff (TNM does not have it) or a special agreement with the editorial staff to close the newspaper.

    The editorial staff has elected me the editor-in-chief of Obzor on 25 December 2008 (15 voted in favor of me and just 1 against). The law also says that the elected editor-in-chief cannot be sacked without a prior consent of the editorial staff.

    The law envisages that the editorial staff has the right to become a founder/co-founder of the newspaper. According to the law, the editorial staff may act as the founder and the publisher at the same time. On the other hand, the publisher may not be the editorial staff.

    Anyway, the editorial staff is eager to continue publishing Obzor. I wrote on the front pages of the two last issues (24 and 25 December) that we are looking for a new investor. Our sales amount was more than $1.3m net in 2008 and we expect at least the same amount in 2009 despite of the crisis.

    It was a great surprize for me to learn about 47 employees. I feel we can even cope with just 7 staff members, sacking our HR directos, PR managers, five web editors and others whilst giving 10% commission to our sales managers who are due to go freelance. The main cost-cutting will happen due to the departure of our Dutch expats with their big salaries and expensive flats, cars and travel.

    I am ready to become both the director-general and the editor-in-chief of Obzor. I believe I can make Obzor profitable from the very beginning but I need some capital to relaunch it (office, salaries, paper, printing, distribution).

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