Ex-Trinity Mirror boss grows Czech free paper business

A new Czech newspaper headed up by a former managing director at Trinity Mirror has announced it is expanding just a month after its launch.

Mark Whittaker, the ex-MD of Trinity Mirror’s Midlands weekly papers, collaborated with Czech publisher Mladá Fronta to launch national weekly free newspaper Sedmicka

The title was launched with a million-copy print run on 15 April, reaching a tenth of the Czech Republic’s 10.5m population.

The launch was based on 10 regional editions, which has now grown to 15. The paper now says it is on target for 27 by the end of May.

Whittaker said: “This is not a UK publishing model being imposed on the Czech market place but a unique solution to suit the market circumstances.

“We believe we have identified a gap in the marketplace which will generate significant print and on line audiences for advertisers.”

Whittaker left Trinity Mirror in 2007 after a bid to buy the Midlands business was rejected. He started work on the project last summer.

Sedmicka, which means seven in Czech, is delivered to post boxes and is also available from 600 pickup points.

According to the publisher, the title now has 200 staff and 25 offices. The group now plans to set up a network of local and hyperlocal websites.

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