Thursday, March 15, 2007

New Boston free daily to launch April 17

An Icelandic telecom which hopes to one day have a chain of free dailies in the U.S. has announced that it's first paper, in Boston, will start April 17. As we have previously reported, the editor of Boston Now will be Russell Pergament, who helped start the Boston Metro and ran freebie daily AM New York. Dagsbrun (stock ticker symbol ICEX) is headquartered in Reykjavík, Iceland and owns Vodafone Iceland, Sena (a movie theater operator), Wyndeham Press (a UK printing company) and other companies in the media or phone business. In the U.S., it will operate newspapers under the name 365 Media.

As the Boston Herald notes, the new Boston Now will have a lot of competition -- the town's traditional broadsheet, the Globe, a paid tabloid, the Herald, a free daily tab, Boston Metro, and two alternative weeklies, Phoenix and Weekly Dig.

One other note. An earlier story about Boston Now said Pergament would emphasize staff-writen local stories. Now the Herald story says Pergament is trying to recruit local bloggers to write for the paper. Maybe he will do both. Or since the start date has been advanced from the summer to April 17, maybe it's easier to use material from blogs than it is to build a local newsroom.