Archive for the ‘Closures’ Category

The Moscow Times becomes a weekly

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

the moscow times newsThe Moscow Times, one of the oldest – pre-Metro – free newspapers in the world, has gone weekly this month. The newspaper was founded in 1992 by Independent Media (Dutch entrepreneur and journalis Derk Sauer was one of the founders.

The English-language paper went daily in October 1992. In 2006 it is was acquired by Finnish publisher SanomaWSOY who sold it to a Russian entrepreneur Demyan Kudryavtsev, a former chief executive of publishing house Kommersant, this spring.

It had a circulation of 35.000 and is distributed through 500 points in Moscow.

Derk Sauer annouced the non-daily plan already some weeks ago but on the website there is no information about the switch. There is, however, no daily paper later than October 30 available.

Editor in chief Nabi Abdullaev resigned because he and Kudryavtsev don’t see eye to eye about editorial independence.

Metro France about to close down in print

Monday, May 25th, 2015

metro_france_kioskThe chances that Metro France will be published in 2016 are slim. TF1, the commercial broadcaster that owns the paper since 2011, is thinking about closing the paper.

The president of TF1 announced that 60 people (out of a 100) will lose the job at the third (after 20 Minutes and Matin Plus) free paper in France.

IN 2014 the paper lost € 10 million. It stopped publisher on hollidays and even on other day when they expect little advertising. These savings were noyt enough.

A digital-only future for Metro will an option. (Les Echo’s)

Metro Herald (Ireland) stops publishing

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

MetroHerald2009The free newspaper Metro Herald will publish its last edition on Friday 19 November. According tot the publisher, because of an “unsustainable business model”,  13 people will lose their job.

Metro Herald is published Furtune Gree, owned by The Irish Times, The Daily Mail and Independent News & Media (INM). (Irish Times)

The title started in 2010 as a result of the merger of Metro and Herald AM, both free dailies were launched in 2005.

Total circulation was somewhat under 60,000 copies.

Dutch free daily Spits closes

Friday, July 18th, 2014

In October Dutch free daily Spits will close after more than 15 years. Some of the contents will be merged into competitor Metro, also owned by Telegraaf Media Groep (TMG).

Metro and Spits both were launched on June 21 1999.

After TMG bought Metro in 2012, it tried to target the two titles at different audiences. Metro would be more ‘newsy’ and serious, aimed at a somewhat more mature audience; Spits would contain more sports and entertainment and target a younger audience.

As distribution was still at the same places (public transport mostly) this strategy did not work out. Spits had also troubles because it was forced to close already at 21.00 every night, so it missed some of the sports news.

TMG has a franchise contract with Metro International so closing Metro would result in a fine for TMG.

At the same time the publisher combined distribution, sales and the editorial departments – the two brands had one editor in chief.

Apparentely the move has not succeeded, Metro is going to be the only remaining free paper, following a trend visible in other European countries where competition is substituted by monopoly.

The website of Spits will remain.

TMG says it will increase the circulation to more than 500.000 in 2015.


Slovenian free daily Zurnal24 will close

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

After 7 years the curtain falls for free daily Zurnal24 in Slovenia. The paper was launched in the fall of 2007 in 5 editions: Lubliana, Primorska, Gorenjska, Dolenjska en Stajerska.

zurnal24 copy

The paper, owned by Austrian media group Styria, had a circulation of more than 100,000 and claimed a daily readerhip of 239,000. Also the weekly Zurnal and the website will close down.

The owner says that it has not succeeded in making the papers profitable. And with the weak economy they don’t expect that it wil be profitable in the near future.

Around 50 people will be affected by the closure.

Austrian newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung wrote that the papers made several millions of losses every year, in total more than € 40 million.

20 Minutes Grenoble closes

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

20minutes_grenoble_2013The Grenoble edition of French leading free daily 20 Minutes has not returned in 2014. The last issue (right, click for bigger version) was published on December 20, 2013.

In Grenoble 12,000 copies were distributed; the edition was launched on March 2010. From now on the Grand-Lyon edition will be distributed in Grenoble. (Liberation)

20 Minutes is now published with 12 different editions in France, and with a joined circulation of 950,000. Also Metro (720,000) and DirectPlus (900,000) are distributed in most major French cities.

For the Grenoble edition two journalists from press agency Pleins Titres wer contributing stories; in Grand Lyon three journalists are responsible for local news.

Last month 20 Minuten was faced with a strike that also was cause by cost-cutting measures when 13 people lost their job at the free daily.

Sharp Daily (Hong Kong) closes

Monday, October 21st, 2013


Hong Kong free paper Sharp Daily will close today. Publisher Next Media (controlled by media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying) anounced that “it is seeking to consolidate its print operations in Hong Kong and to enable the group to rationalize its resources and focus on its profitable operations” (The Standard)

The paper was launched in 2011 and claimed a circulation of 850,000.

Hong Kong now has ‘only’ six free dailies: Metro, AM730, Headline Daily, The Standard, HeadlineFinance and Sky Post.

In Taiwan Next media still publishes paid tabloid Apple Daily, and free Sharp Daily.

Below the closure notice on the Sharp Daily website.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 15.07.42

24 Hours in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton close down

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

24hours_Galgary_2013Canadian free 24 hours papers in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton will close down in a substantial cost-cutting plan where owner Sun Media expects to save about C$55m annually. Also 11 community papers willl close.

The 24 Hours editions in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto will continue. (

The three closed down editions were the smallest of the 24 Hours group (combined circulation 120,000). The remaining editions have a total circulation of 600,000.

Total Canadian circualtion has increased almost every year until 2012 when it was 1.7 million. With the closure of t.o.night (Toronto, went non-daily) and the 24 hours editions, it will drop to 1.5 million.

Free Italian daily DNews closes

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

DNewsMilano710-211x300After five years, free Italian newspaper DNews closes down. The issue of 20 June was the last one published. The paper will not return after the summer (Iatlian free dailies usually close down during the summer months.)

All staff members have been laid off. The website is already taken down. (Lettera43)

The paper started in February 2008 in Rome, Milan, Verona and Bergamo. These last two editions were closed in september 2011.

The paper claimed a circulation of 800,000 copies at the start, and 470,000 in the last years. This cannot be checked as circulation is not officially audited in Italy. Readership is, and that showed that Dnews never had more than 380,000 readers (2010), declining to 97,000 in 2012. Which suggests that the  paper had in fact a much lower circulation.

In 2012 the shares of the company were transfered to Emotional Advertising.

Dnews is already the third ‘national’ free Italian daily that closed down. In 2010 E Polis closed down, in 2012 in City. Leggo closed all but the Milan and Rome eiditions in 2011 as well. Also free national sports papers (Sports24) and business papers (24minutti) closed down.

In 2008 Italy had nine free dailies with a total circulation of 4.5 million, it is now down to four titels with a circulation of 1.5 million.

UPDATE 20 July. Debt of th ecompany would be €1.3 million.

Schibsted cuts costs in Spain

Monday, May 20th, 2013

20Minutos_Andalucia_2013Spain, only five years ago, a country with four national free newspapers, a combined free circulation of almost five million and a market share of free newspapers of more than 50%, is now seeing how the last remaining free daily is coping with the recession.

Free daily 20 Minutos, owned by Norwegian media house Schibsted, is combining editions in Sevilla, Malaga, Cordoba and Granada to one Andalucia edition.

Until last year 20 Minutos had 15 editions, in July of 2012 seven editions were closed. In 2013 only five (Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia and Andalucia) remain.

In the beginning of this month Schibsted already announced cost reductions because of losses in Spain and France.

20 Minutos was the only remaining national free daily in Spain after the closures of Metro (2009), ADN (2011) and Qué! (2012). Also a dozen local free papers closed down. Total circulation of free newspapers in Spain is now down to less than 800,000.