15minut Uhraine closed down

Following a lead in the comments of a post yesterday, it is indeed almost certain that after Obzor also the other Ukraine free morning daily 15minut closed down at the end of December 2008. The last issue (left) is from December 24.

For a brief period of time there were three free dailies in the former Soviet Republic, now only evening paper Vecherkom, by Segodnya (paid daily), launched in April 2008, is published. However, there are some unconfirmed rumors that a new free paper ‘Pulse’ is also available in the capital Kiev.

KP Media launched 15minut in June 2006. In 2007 it launched editions in Donetsk, Odessa, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk and Lviv. Total circulation was around 270,000 according to the publisher.

The paper counted 16 pages and is distributed near metro stations, bus stops, in business centers, fast food restaurants and coffee shops. KP Media was founded in 1995 by US citizen Jed Sunden and publishes magazines, the free English language weekly Kyiv Post and operates the internet news site Korrespondent.net.

In 2007 15minut launched the regional editions. In Lviv the paper is published in Ukrainian, in the other new markets in Russian.

(Send to you from Scottsdale at the INMA readership Summit.)

2 Responses to “15minut Uhraine closed down”

  1. Yuri Svirko Says:

    I can confirm that a new free paper ‘Pulse’ is also available in the capital Kiev. It has recently launched the city portal PULS.KIEV.UA

  2. Yuri Svirko Says:

    I would also recommend a piece on http://www.denieuwereporter.nl/?p=2005

    TMG’s Josja Zijlstra says: “I don’t know anything about court cases. I only received some e-mails with false claims of Svirko. His juridical arguments are wrong. And it’s not true that he couldn’t bring his own people to the newspaper, it just had to follow certain procedures. It’s not the first publication where he leaves while having an argument with the publisher. But of course he has the public sympathy, it’s the image of the lone man against the ‘evil capital’. I think he overestimates the support for his plans at the newspaper. I think its a ‘kamikaze’/

    I wonder who is the real kamikaze in Ukraine – me or Josja? Who has closed Obzor in such a stupid way? The editorial newsroom is closed and sealed, all journalists’ computers and TMG emails were cut off whilst TMG is pretending the employees are still working in normal conditions until 24 February when we all are sacked officially.

    As for my arguments, they are the following:

    The director of Telegraaf News Media Ltd. (Ukraine’s TNM) Mr Borysko had signed an order dated 24 December 2008 to stop issuing Obzor (WITH NO SPECIFIC DATE FOR THIS STOPPING) 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.