Archive for the ‘Closures’ Category

No more free dailies in the Baltics

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011


Between 2005 and 2008 all three Baltic countries had a free newspaper, all of them with several editions and reaching market shares of more than a quarter of the total newspaper market.

Two of them were owned by Norwegian publisher Schibsted, one by Swedish company Bonnier, and none off them is around in 2011 – although one title is published three days a week and one other two times.

Latvian free daily 5Min was launched in August 2005 by Swedish-owned paid paper Diena (Bonnier). The paper was published in Latvian and Russian. In 2009 Bonnier sold Diena and 5Min to Guernsey-based investors Jonathan and David Rowland.

Latvian businessman Viesturs Koziols acquired a 51% stake in the company in 2010. 5Min was closed in June 2010, although according to the publisher, it was  ”a temporary decision” –  a relaunch would be possible when the economy recovers.

15min 2009

In September 2005, free daily 15min started in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, editions for Kaunas and Kleipeda were added a year later.

Norwegian publisher Schibsted bought the paper in 2006, first as a majority shareholder, in 2008 it acquired 100% of the company. In 2009 the paper reduced distribution to three days a week.

LinnalehtIn Estonia, free daily Linnaleht was launched in capital Talinn in December 2005, in both a Estonia and Russian edition. The paper was jointly owned by by the Eesti Meedia (Schibsted) and Ekspress Groups, publishers of paid dailies Postimees and Eesti Päevaleht.

In 2007 a Tartu edition was added while Pärnu got a weekly edition in the same year. In December 2008 the daily paper was replaced by a semi-weekly paper.

Thanks to the team that compiled the Latvia entry of European Media Landscapes.

Quick quits

Monday, August 1st, 2011

The Dallas Morning News will end the publication of their free weekly Quick on August 4.

In 2003 Quick was launched as a free daily, in 2008 it was converted to a weekly and focused on entertainment mainly.

The  Dallas Morning News (Belo) still publishes door-to-door free daily Briefing from Wednesday to Saturday.

Two Macedonian free papers closed

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

koha2011In the beginning on July, the two free Macedonian free newspapers Shpic and Koha were closed down, together with paid newspaper Vreme. TV-station A1, also belonging to the same media group – cut back in programming.

Yesterday, July 18, the court has been asked to start a bankruptcy procedure against A1. The owner of the TV-station and both newspapers, Velija Ramkovski, was arrested in December 2010, being accused of tax evasion and financial irregularities.

Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), has expressed concerns over the latest media developments in Macedonia because they think they might be politically motivated.

The papers had to closed down because the tax office said they were behind 21 million in taxes. After the tax office move, the papers could no longer pay wages. Albanian language paper Koha, however, still publishes a pdf on the website. The website of Shpic is also still alive. (

Shpic was launched in 2006 and claimed a circulation of 125,000. Koha started in 2007.

Curtain falls for Adevarul de Seara

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

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.”

City Stockholm folds

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

city_stockholm_2011After almost 9 years, Bonnier’s free paper Stockholm City will close down this summer. The paper was launched in October 2002 as a – rather late – answer to Metro, the free daily that started in 1995 in the Swedish capital.

In 2008, after years of losses (estimated at almost €70 million) the paper went to a three-days-a-week schedule, and later to twice-a-week.

A Göteborg edition was launched in 2006 and closed a year later. The Malmö edition, also started in 2006, however, is still published.

Also smaller City editions in Helsingborg (2008), Landskrona (2008) and Lund (2011) are still alive. Combined circulation is around 25,000.

The last addition was City Kristianstad that launched in the end of April. All remaining editions of City are published five days a week.

USA: Vail Mountaineer and the Denver Daily News closed

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

VailMountaineer2011Two free daily newspapers have been closed in Colorado: the Denver Daily News (launched in May 2002) and the Vail Mountaineer (launched in June 2008).

Jim Pavelich owned both papers, the Denver title together with Jim Price. Pavelich and Price have a long history of starting (and selling) free papers in Colorado and California. They launched papers in Palo Alto, Aspen, San Francisco and Vail. Pavelich started the Vail Daily in 1981 and launched the competing Mountaineer after he sold the Vail Daily.

The Mountaineer was published six days a week, the last issue on the website is from Sunday June 5. That issue, actually, is full of ads.

The Denver Daily News had a circulation of 12,000. The Vail Mountaineer distributed 5000 copies.

Al Día to Wednesday & Saturday

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Dallas Spanish language free daily Al Día already switched in February of last year from a daily to semi-weekly publication. The move apparently was part of a much bigger cost-cutting operation by publisher Belo (Dallas Morning News) last year.

The paper was launched by Belo in 2003 and moved to a all-free model in 2005. Earlier Belo converted free daily Quick to a weekly.

In 2008 free door-to-door daily Briefing (Wednesday-Saturday) was launched, circulation was increased this year to more than 200,000 copies.

El Nuveo Siglio Guadalajara online only

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Free daily El Nuveo Siglio, published in Guadalajara (México), was recently closed down. It remains, however, as a news website.

The title was founded in 2000 as a weekly paper, in 2004 it moved to a daily publication, also published on weekend days.

El Diario de Caracas closed

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

eldiariodecaracasAlready in September 2009, free El Diario de Caracas (Venezuela) closed down.

El Diario de Caracas started in 1979 as a paid tabloid paper. In 1995 it was closed down after a financial crisis. In 2005 Consorcio TP brought the paper back to life as a free daily.

The paper had a circulation of 50,000 and was published seven days a week.

Two free dailies remain in Venezuela: Primera Hora by paid paper El Nacional and Cuidad CCS, a government sponsored free daily.

As often in Latin America, political and business issues seem to be behind the closure (as they were behind the launch). Some information is on the noticias candela blog, where it is suggested that the people behind El Diario de Caracas had dealings with FARC (Colombia) and Sendero Luminoso (Peru). This information, however, is not substantiated with other material.

Global Noticias closes

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

GlobalNotocias2010Free Portuguese newspaper Global Noticias will print its last edition on 30 June. The paper by Controlinveste was launched in September 2007 in Lisbon, in 2008 a Porto edition started. Total circulation was 140,000 in the beginning of this year. In 2009 the paper distributed 100,000 copies on average.

Controlinveste will also close down paid paper 24 Horas; papers Diario de Notícias, Jornal de Notícias and O Jogo (sports) will continue. (Publicitas)

The number of free dailies in Lisbon is now down to three, two general papers: Destak and Metro, both owned by Cofina, and the free business daily OJE.

In 2007 also free sports daily Diário Desportivo and free ‘quality paper’ Meia Hora were published. Circulation then was around 650,000 – it is down to 280,000 now.

The website of Global Noticias has no news on the closure.