Saturday, July 08, 2006

Virginian-Pilot to start youth free daily

With the demise of "Dirt" in Boulder, Colo., and the "Red Streak" in Chicago, and "Dose" in Canada, it's surprising that the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., plans to launch a free daily this fall oriented toward youth. The new free tab -- called "Link" -- will offer quick-read news stories and content focused on lifestyle and recreation, spread over 32 to 40 pages, with a daily press run of 40,000 copies, according to a story in Friday's Virginian-Pilot. Link will have its own 12-person staff and will have access to the Pilot's stories and wire services. Link's target will be readers between 18 and 34 years old, who read newspapers infrequently and don't subscribe to the Pilot, said David Mele, Link's publisher and general manager. The Pilot reaches between 25 percent and 45 percent of this emerging audience, he said. Arnie Applebaum, general manager of the Washington Post's free daily Express, is quoted as endorsing the concept: "This is a good way to reach the younger audience." While some youth papers have failed, American Journalism Review editor Rem Rieder some have been more popular and profitable than expected.