Wednesday, November 15, 2006

2 new free papers for Toronto in 2 languages

Sun Media Corp., owner of the Ottawa Sun, today launched two free newspapers in Toronto -- "24 hours" in English and "24 heures" in French. They're promising a "unique, fast-paced package of news, entertainment and high quality photo reportage for readers in the National Capital Region."

"The newspapers are designed to deliver information quickly for busy readers -- typically in 20 minutes -- and they will attract new readers to the print format," says Rick Gibbons, publisher and CEO of 24 hours in Ottawa. The Publisher of 24 heures is Michel Desbiens. Research shows that 47 percent of the people in the market don't read any newspaper, so the hope is that these free dailies will increase overall readership. The overlap between paid papers and free ones is typically less than 8 percent, said Gibbons.

The two new dailies will result in a total of 24 new full-time equivalent positions. The papers will also draw from staffers of the Ottawa Sun.

The two new papers are expected to increase the total circulation of Sun Media's free papers to more than 800,000 readers per day, according to Bob Harris, vice president of new business development.