Final Word from Friday, July 17, 2009



Not much is written about it, but the Czech newspaper market is feeling the pinch. Even MF Dnes is laying off staff, people say, while others think the real goal of HN's colorful redesign was to cut costs. Amid this, Mafra brought in Dalibor Balšínek to squeeze profit out of LN. He made his name by turning around Týden magazine. To succeed at LN, he'll need to redraw the media map. Ringier controls the tabloids, MFD is the catch-all semi-serious paper, HN is fending off E15 for business readers, and Deník is strong in the regions. Právo, on the left, is the most vulnerable of the majors. A well-done liberal paper with deep pockets might be able to bury it. But Balšínek says he could never attach his name to a leftist rag. Instead, he wants LN to be a premium (center-right) paper. It will be a long slog, but a sizeable number of under-served "premium" readers will be hoping he can succeed this time too.[Czech Republic Hospodářské noviny Lidové noviny]

Glossary of difficult words

to feel the pinch - to experience hardship, esp. financial; 

HN - Hospodářské noviny; 

Mafra - publisher of MFD and LN; 

LN - Lidové noviny; 

catch-all - a term or category that incudes a variety of different possibilities; 

to fend off - to resist; to fight off; 

the majors - the dominant players in a given field; 

liberal - (in this context) left-leaning; 

rag - a newspaper, typically one regarded as low quality; 

a long/hard slog - tiring work over a long period; 

under-served - not served by the current offer on the market.

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