The end of ‘NEWS’

NEWS2009The free Swiss daily NEWS (Tamedia) closed down today, exactly two years after the launch on December 5 2007.

The paper was meant to protect the advertising market of Tamedia’s leading free daily 20 Minuten against free daily “.ch” that was launched in September 2007.

In May 2009 “.ch” closed down. One of the four NEWS editions closed already in December 2008 (also on December 5) while the Berne and Basle editions ended in August of this year. Left is the last Zurich edition.

With the closure there are three free dailies left in Switzerland: 20 Minuten / Minutes with seven different editions in German and French language Switzerland (circulation 700,000), Blick am Abend with five editions (260,000 copies) and local Basle free daily Baslerstab.

The last years several free papers closed down:

  • Tagblatt der Stadt Zürich, 1999-2003
  • Metropol (by Metro Interational), 2000-2002
  • Le Matin Bleu, 2005-2009
  • Heute, 2006-2008, succeeded by Blick am Abend
  • CASH, 2005-2009
  • “.ch” 2007-2009

In 2007 and 2008 free circulation in Switzerland was more than 2 million; now it is down to just over 1 million.

2 Responses to “The end of ‘NEWS’”

  1. Ellen Wallace, editor, GenevaLunch.com Says:

    I realize that your definition of “newspaper” is probably limited to the classic idea of print, but I think it’s important to note that because of the difficulties and costs of distribution in multilingual Switzerland other newspapers now exist that are free and entirely online – no print versions. In this sense we have led the way for the likes of the CS Monitor in the US, which everyone is still happy to call a newspaper, but it’s online only. In our case, GenevaLunch is free, a daily newspaper, online, in English – and very popular, with a good reputation for credibility. I’m the editor and I have 33 years international journalism experience; the rest of the team is experienced journalists, too. So while the free press, as in no-charge printed dailies, is being absorbed by the two companies that will dominate the market in Switzerland starting in January (Edipresse taken over by Tamedia), some online newspapers, free and mostly regional or local are growing because the large media are dropping some of that coverage. In our case, there is a need for good quality English coverage, free.

  2. Piet Bakker Says:

    Yes, I was referring to old-fashioned printed newspapers, and yes, that does not mean that there are no other models around. If there is a valid business model for online, operating such a newspaper is certainly an option (The CS Monitor, however, still has a printed Saturday edition, mostly because ads for print still have better rates.)