The country is set to witness a second battleground this autumn as the publisher of Gazeta Wyborcza releases a new down-market tabloid that is set to create a media spectacle to rival the forthcoming political elections.
Sources involved in the deal say the preparations are very advanced - the recruitment process for the editorial team is already closed and mock issues of the newspaper are being prepared.
The new publication is expected to compete with Axel Springer's Fakt - a tabloid that only two weeks after its launch in October 2003 became the biggest newspaper in Poland, reaching circulation of 536,000, compared to Gazeta Wyborcza's 433,000. The appearance of Fakt on the market also affected the readership of Super Express, the Polish tabloid published by Media Express, which lost 15.6 percent of sales within a year.
The release of Agora's new daily is likely to further weaken the position of Super Express, especially in light of such a huge target circulation. While Axel Springer had to spend approximately zł.80 million to introduce Fakt, Agora is expected to sink less into the undertaking because it already has an established publishing and distribution infrastructure.
"Agora is probably planning to widen press readership to young people and women. The new paper may, of course, attract some of Fakt readers - tabloid buyers are not a loyal group, they always opt for more scandalous headlines and pictures", said Rafał Oracz, press department director in CR Media.
"The success of one or the other depends on the amount of money their publishers are ready to spend."
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