Thursday, April 24, 2008

BPN 1078 New Dutch financial daily launched

The newspaper came out of the blue. No rumour had been around about the launch of De Financiele Pers (the Financial Press). It is a sister publication of De Pers (the press), the free morning broadsheet. And the FP served this morning 32 pages of mainly financial news; yet the lead story, an interview with a representative of the animal front, was also available in De Pers. The physical paper will be distributed in financial centres like the World Trade Centre in Amsterdam, while the pdf edition is also available on the site of De Pers.

How does it look? The newspaper has a professional lay-out, as distinguished as that of De Pers. The stories are well written and illustrated with photographs and info graphics. As said, the editorial staff cooperates with the editorial staff of De Pers by borrowing stories; most likely De Pers will borrow stories from FP. This type of editorial co-operation has been recently demonstrated by De Volkskrant and its sister publication De Dag.

FP has been set up by De Pers and by the financial investment platform IEX. FP is the first real competitor of the paid daily Het Financieele Dagblad (Financial Daily, FD). FD circulates 60.000+ copies a day. FP has three challenges to distinguish itself from FD: focus, quality and distribution. Today the opening article bore the headline: It will be okay with the credit crisis (of course, this article is clearly intended for the Dutch market, which has not been hard hit by the crisis). Remarkable is the lack of pages and pages of stock quotes; while every professional investor is using internet for stock quotes FD is still printing list after list instead of filling up those pages with sensible stories. FP has just one page with quotes for funds.

Last year in August and September a dummy versuion of FP had been produced and shown around to advertisement bureaus and potential advertisers. For the reader market the launch was kept secret with no rumour in the market. The advertisers did not come in hords for the first edition. However three banks and a real estate investment company took out a full page ad.

FP is also the first free morning paper with a specific scope. So far, Metro, Sp!ts, De Pers and Dag are general consumer newspapers. De Pers and Dag are just over one year in the newspaper market as free morning broadsheet. Dag, a joint venture of the newspaper conglomerate PCM and ICT company KPN, has experienced its first reorganisation and its first restyling after a year. And the restyling was badly needed; it was unbelievable that a newspaper allowed such a rag to be published. At present it looks better and the quality of articles has gone up, as the publications borrows articles from its sister publication, the paid daily De Volkskrant.

De Pers and now FP have been started up by the multi billionaire Marcel Boekhoorn. His publishers recently told the Belgian newspaper De Morgen (The Morning), that De Pers costs Mr Boekhoorn 60.000 euro a day. In the first year De Pers suffered a loss of 20 million euro; this year the loss will be 10 million euro and the year after that 5 million euro. By 2011 or 2012 the first profit will show. Of course with FP now, the dawning of a profit might be even more extended.

Update 25 April 2008: The launch of the new Dutch finanicial daily was a live trial dir two days in order to test the reaction from the readers and adverterisers. The first reactions have been positive. Aboiut the future of the financial newspapers, no details were communicated by the publisher.

Blog Posting Number: 1078

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