Saturday, July 12, 2008

BPN 1156 A crazy project (continued)

When the project of the De Pers, a free newspaper was announced in the Netherlands during the summertime of 2006, I dubbed it crazy project. Now the project is live for more than a year. The title has gained respect as the top quality free newspaper among the two incumbent ones, Spits and Metro as well as the latest newcomer Dag.

But the newspaper is loosing its crazy traits and is returning to the economic laws of publishing. The editor in chief has confessed that he had exceeded the budget with no less than 60 to 70 percent. So now measures will be taken to reduce the editorial staff from 51 to 43 employees by discontinuing year contracts. On the other hand the turn-over will double this year and the daily loss is much less than 60.000 euro forecasted earlier in the year. In the business proposition two items will change. The Saturday edition, the only Saturday edition among the free newspapers, will be suspended due to distribution problems.

The editorial formula will change and financial and economic news will be increases in favour of art and culture. The newspaper will remain a general newspaper with an optimistic undertone. It will not become a head-to-head competitor of the financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad. At the end of April a pilot issue was produced with financial news.

The circulation ranking of the four free newspapers is: (1) Metro with roughly 550.000 copies, (2 and 3, ex equo) Spits with 550.000 copies and De Pers with 440.000 copies with Dag (360.000 copies) in last place. But this might change as the newspaper is changing to the target group of well educated hih professionals between 25 and 49 years. This will have a decrease of copies. In the summer months the circulation will go down to 300.000 copies, but by the end of August it will be up again to 350.000 copies. The management expects the newspaper still to grow. At the start the publisher said that he was aiming at 1 million copies, but this is now seen as ambitious. De Pers distributes 50 to 60 percent in public transport, a quarter in offices and the rest in shops. The pilot with home-to-home distribution is not likely to be continued as the number of readers per copy is too low.

New Dutch financial daily launched
Dutch free tabloids
PCM's DAG launched
Never a dull moment at PCM
Never a dull moment at PCM
Yes/No/Yes: a free newspaper for PCM, at last maybe
Never a dull moment at PCM (1)
A crazy project

Blog Posting Number: 1156

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