Thursday, May 18, 2006

Canada's free daily 'Dose' shuts down

CanWest has shut down its sassy youth-oriented national free daily, Dose, after a year of publication. The Toronto Star writes: "Launched in April 2005, Dose was a free newspaper that took careful aim at the 18-to-34 demographic. Distributed weekdays in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, Dose served up eye-catching front pages, one of which has a Best Cover nomination at the upcoming National Magazine Awards. Some of Dose's Toronto team had already started work yesterday when they learned they were out of a job. Others never made it into the office."

A Toronto financial analyst quoted by the National Post said, "[Dose] was burning a lot more money than they thought, because of [competition for readers and advertisers from] all the free dailies ... And there was no [strategic] need for it because CanWest has a joint venture in Metro," a free general interest daily distributed in Vancouver and Ottawa.

In Canada, several rivals compete in the free daily market. "Metro" papers are published under a three-way venture between CanWest Global, Torstar Corp. and Metro International SA. The commuter daily "24 Hours" is produced by Quebecor's Sun Media.

Canada National Post: Closing Dose is good news for CanWest
Toronto Star's take on Dose's demise -- it will be a loss to the art and design community
Ottawa Business Journal: Dose of reality: CanWest kills free daily commuter paper discusses Metro's role in Dose's demise