Expatica news

AD plays key role in national newspaper venture

8 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch publishers PCM and Wegener are moving to create a new national daily newspaper by merging the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) and seven regional editions.

Besides the AD (PCM), the PCM newspapers Rotterdams Dagblad, De Dordtenaar and the Rijn en Gouwe and four Wegener newspapers (De Haagsche Courant, the Rotterdams Dagblad, Amersfoortse Courant and the Goudsche Courant) are earmarked for the fusion. The papers have a combined circulation of 630,000.

The regional newspapers have faced declining circulation in recent years and both PCM and Wegener hope that the new national newspaper will reverse that trend. The national newspaper will have several regional editions.

It is not yet certain if the new newspaper will be a morning or evening edition. The newspapers De Haagsche Courant, Rotterdams Dagblad and the Goudsche Courant are evening newspapers, while the others are morning editions. The new paper has not been give a name, but is expected to be called the AD.

After a serious study, the two companies expect to unveil a definite proposal at the end of the first quarter next year, the website of the Dutch journalists union NVJ reported. The PCM and Wegener plan had been previously reported, but the two companies confirmed their intentions Wednesday.

The NVJ said it will meet with the editorial departments, boards of management and editors-in-chief of the eight newspapers to discuss the consequences of the fusion. The union is not opposed to the fusion if it leads to an investment in regional editorial quality and allows for greater innovation.

But concern was raised over feared job losses. The NVJ hopes to prevent job cuts to maintain editorial quality and also said the merger should not result in the loss of multiformity, asserting that the position of regional newspapers had already weakened in recent years.

The editorial department of the Rotterdams Dagblad was furious about the plans, urging readers via the internet to express their support in a battle to preserve the city’s newspaper.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news