Radio 2

The end of the road for weekly freesheet ‘De Streekkrant’

The publisher Roularta has announced that it is to cease publication of the weekly freesheet ‘De Streekkrant’. The final edition of ‘De Streekkrant’ that is currently called ‘Deze Week’ will roll off the presses at the end of this month. The paper that is financed by advertised was first published in the mid-20th century. 

At the height of its success, it had 44 regional editions and had a circulation of some 2.5 million copies. It was the most-read news paper in Flanders. Back in the pre-internet days it was the place that many Flemings looked first if they wanted to rent or buy a property or were looking for a second-hand car.

Over the past two decades advertising revenue has dropped and the number of local editions of the freesheet has been cut back to 17. A couple of years ago ‘De Streekkrant changed its name to ‘Deze Week’ (This week). Currently ‘Deze Week’ has a circulation of around 900,000. 9 of the 17 regional editions a dedicated to specific areas of West Flanders. There are 4 local editions covering East Flanders, two cover specific areas in Antwerp Province, while there is one edition each in Flemish Brabant and Limburg.

The final editions of ‘Deze Week’ will be published on 27 October.  In a statement released on Thursday Roularta said that "The rise of wholesale distribution an e-commerce had already put the local market under great pressure and the corona pandemic hit the already weakened retail market head on”

"This situation and competition from social media have led to a fall in advertising revenue for freesheets. Despite several attempts to turn the tide the financial situation at ‘De Streekkrant’ is no longer tenable’.

 

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