Swiss commuter freesheet .Ch – a newspaper so modern, it’s named after a country code top-level domain – has pulled the plug with the loss of 69 jobs, after realising it can’t reach profitability by 2011 as planned.
.Ch launched in September 2007 with an initial 435,000 print run to go up against the popular French-language freesheet 20 Minutes. The paper since relaunched by the economic climate has hit the title hard. Chairman Ernst Buob tells Persoenlich.com: “We assume that the advertising business in the next year will not recover. This increases the economic risk massively.” It was investors who called time after deciding the option of ploughing in more money would prove too risky. Buob says .Ch achieved its aim of playing number-two to 20 Minutes.
But Newspaper Innovation says: “In fact, the market in Switzerland had four instead of two free papers, which made the task even more difficult.” Buob invites management to buy the paper out, for free – “not even a symbolic franc”. .Ch even gave away each edition as a free PDF.