Thursday, April 19, 2007

BostonNow starts -- city's 2nd free daily

BostonNow, that city's fourth daily and second free daily, hit the streets Monday with a staff of 30 including 10 journalsits. BostonNow will rely on unpaid bloggers for some of its content.

BostonNow being bankrolled by the Iceland's phone company, Dagsbrun, which hopes to have 10 or 12 of them across the U.S. The new paper is being headed by Russel Pergament, who started Boston's other free daily, Metro, and then went on to start amNewYork before he was bought out by its owners, The Tribune Co., last year.

Gunnar Smári Egilsson, director of Dagsbrun, is quoted by Fréttabladid as saying he expects the paper to do about $15 million in sales annually. BostonNow plans to print 200,000 copies a day to compete with the 170,000 printed by Metro.

Dagsbrun has trademarked the names of nearly two dozen other cities, such as DenverNow. The Examiner group, owned by billionaire oilman Phil Anschutz, made a splash in 2005 when it obtained the internet domains for the Examiner name in 70 cities. That fueled speculation that Anschutz would roll out his paper across the country, too. However, he hasn't launched a new paper since February 2006.

The south Boston paid-daily, The Patriot Ledger, offered this description of the launch. Above is a photo by Steve Garfield of a meeting of local bloggers led by editor John Wilpers at the newspaper's offices. Wilpers was previously editor of the Washington Examiner.