Between 2006 and 2007 free daily HaYisraeli was published (initial circulation around 180,000), but when founder Shalom Ben-Zvi fell out with the largest shareholder, American casino-billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the paper had to close down.
HaYisraeli was a supporter of Netanyahu’s Likud party but not strong enough according to Adelson who founded his own paper Israel Hayom (Israel Today) in July 2007.
Israel Hayom is now the largest paper in the country, with a circulation of 300,000 and reaching 35% of the Israeli readership.
Israel Post (above right, click for enlargement) – formerly called Metro Israel – is the second free daily in the country, launched shortly after Israel Hayom, a Hebrew language afternoon paper, published by Eli Azur (The Jerusalem Post) and David Weisman (retail stores).
The paper has a circulation of 150,000 – making it the fourth paper in the country, also in readership (after Israel Hayom and paid papers Yedioth Ahronoth and Ma’ariv).
Israel Post is definitely more ‘basic’ than Israel Today, there is no website, no iPad app and no impressive weekend edition. The copy I received counted 32 pages with a very blunt design, containing 15 pages of advertising. As my knowledge of Hebrew (and Israel) is rather limited I don’t know how many of these ads come from Wiesman’s stores.