Competition in the Polish press market will become even tougher in October with the introduction of a new nationwide daily newspaper. Its publisher is Polska Presse, Polish branch of German Verlagsgruppe Passau, owner of eight local newspapers. The company began preparation in 2006 for the launch of the new publication.
More than 100 people, led by editor-in-chief Pa-wel Fafara, work in the paper’s Warsaw office. Its marketing campaign will likely cost 100 mln zloty. It is still unclear what the name of the new paper will be. The Polish press has pointed at possibilities such as Dzie-nnik Polski, Monitor, Polska or Wiadomosci 24, but Polska Presse confirmed none of them.But the goals for the new daily are already known.
The publisher wants to establish a high-quality newspaper with a daily circulation of 500,000. Polska Presse has signed a partnership deal with the London Times in order to strengthen the new daily.Currently only one Polish daily newspaper sells more than 500,000 copies daily – Fakt tabloid owned by Axel Springer, the company that also publishes Germany’s biggest newspaper Bild.
Bild was also a model for Fakt, which has become Poland’s circulation leader since its introduction in 2003. In April 2006 Axel Springer launched its second general-interest daily newspaper in the Polish market. It’s called Dziennik and sells 170,000 copies daily – a number that ranks it among the top five in Poland.But the strongest competitor of the new Polska Presse daily will be Gazeta Wyborcza, which has been surpassed by Fakt in circulation but remains the undisputed leader in advertising revenues with 636 mln zloty in the first half of 2007. Gazeta Wyborcza is the flagship of Agora Co., which also owns many magazines, the Internet portal gazeta.pl, and several radio stations.
The newspaper, which sells 410,000 copies daily, was established in 1989 by members of the Polish anti-Communist opposition.The third-place Polish daily press is Super Express (190,000 daily) – another tabloid and main rival of Fakt.
Dziennik is followed by Rzeczpospolita in fifth place with circulation of 145,000. The partially state-owned paper is known for its Economy and Law sections and read by businessmen and lawyers. Media researchers are not sure whether there is enough demand for another nationwide daily in Poland. During the last two years two companies have suffered spectacular defeats after they have tried to launch newspapers.
Agora released Nowy Dzien in November 2005 but it was abandoned just three months later when it failed to reach 250,000, which likely would have guaranteed its profitability. Also in February 2006 billionaire Michal Solowow gave up his plan to start another nationwide daily based on the local Zycie Warszawy just a few days before its launch. This decision came out shortly after Nowy Dzien was closed.