Curtain falls for Adevarul de Seara

adevarulsearacr2009One of the most ambitious free papers in the world – Romanian Adevarul de Seara – closed down today.

All 39 editions of the free evening paper (total circulation 500,000) will be converted to paid weeklies, called ADS. The weeklies will be published on Thursdays and have between 24 and 32 pages. The price will be 0.8 to 1.4 Lei (between 0.25 and 0.35 Euro).

Adevarul de Seara was launched as a free evening sister paper of paid paper Adevarul in October 2008 in Bucharest and six other major markets in Romania. Later that year seven markets were added while the paper expanded to 18 more cities in 2009 and another seven in 2010.

Both Adevarul and Adevarul de Seara are owned by Dinu Patriciu, the richest Romanian with a fortune estimated at €2.5 billion. Patriciu has also ties with the National Liberal Party, between 1990 and 2003 he served as a member of parliament for the party.

Adevarul also publishes editions for Romanians in Spain and Italy while the group owns tabloid papers Click! and Blik. The Romanian edition of Forbes is also published by the company.

The most likely reason for the closure are high costs and low revenues. In Adevarul, Peter L. Imre, general manager of the Adevarul Holding, however, said that  ”Adevarul de Seara has reached the point where you have to take a step forward. I do not believe in free products.”

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