No. 7 in a 67-part series: The Czech Republic – 18 years of free papers

Metro Prague (Metro International) was the first international launch outside Sweden in July 1997. The edition was not 100% owned but Metro bought the other shareholders out in 1999. In January 2006, local editions (Moravia & Bohemia) were launched, Metro now covers one third of the country. A further expansion (South Moravia & West Bohemia) is anticipated. 60% of the shares were sold in December 2007 to competitor Mafra, owned by German publisher Rheinische Post. Metro will be operated under a trademark license. Mafra’s free daily Metropolitni Expres was closed. Mafra will offer joint advertising in Dnes, Lidové Noviny and Metro.
Ringier launched 24 Hodin (24 hours) in Prague in November 2005. Ringier also publishes tabloid Blesk, a Sunday paper and two sports papers. Ringier is active in five Eastern European countries. 24 Hodin closed December 2008.
The crowded market saw a third free daily launched in 2006: Metropolitní Expres by Mafra (owned by German Rheinische Post), also publisher of Mlada fronta Dnes and Lidove Noviny. Expres employed 20 people, 15 of them journalists. The paper ceased publication April 2008 when it merged with the Czech Metro.
Kuryr Praha (local investors) launched in April 2006. Kuryr did not survive the summer, the paper changed to a weekly but ceased publication soon afterwards.
In November 2007 free business paper E15 was launched in Prague by Mlada Fronta. Distribution is directly to businesses, office centers, hotels, universities, and government buildings while it will also be available in trains and at the airport. Later it expanded to Brno and Ostrava. Mlada Fronta publishes more than 20 magazines in the Czech Republic, some of them also in the field of economics and business. E15 is competing with the Czech business daily Hospodarske Noviny, and several business weeklies. E15 with subtitle ”15 Minutes for Economy and Business” will target managers and staff of leading companies.

metro_czech_2012Metro Prague (Metro International) was the first international Metro launch outside Sweden in July 1997. In January 2006, local editions (Moravia & Bohemia) were launched. 60% of the shares were sold in December 2007 to competitor Mafra, owned by German publisher Rheinische Post. RP later increased its share.

Swis publisher Ringier launched 24 Hodin (24 hours) in Prague in November 2005. Ringier also publishes tabloid Blesk, a Sunday paper and two sports papers. Ringier is active in five Eastern European countries. 24 Hodin closed December 2008.

metropolitni_expresThe crowded market saw a third free daily launched in 2006: Metropolitní Expres by Mafra (owned by German publisher Rheinische Post), also publisher of Mlada fronta Dnes and Lidove Noviny. The paper ceased publication April 2008 when it merged with the Czech Metro.

Kuryr Praha (by local investors) launched in April 2006. Kuryr did not survive the summer, the paper changed to a weekly but ceased publication soon afterwards.

e15.jpg

In November 2007 free business paper E15 was launched in Prague by Mlada Fronta. Distribution is directly to businesses, office centers, hotels, universities, and government buildings while it will also be available in trains and at the airport. Later it expanded to Brno and Ostrava. Mlada Fronta publishes more than 20 magazines in the Czech Republic.

In the Czech Republic free dailies have a market share of ±25 percent.

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