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Број 3015    сабота, 18 март 2006
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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    Krug was founded in 1992 by a group of professional, experienced journalists in order to launch a new, independent daily newspaper, Dnevnik, which was launched in March of 1996. These journalists, each of whom worked for either of the two large government-controlled newspapers at the time, saw a business opportunity with the belief that the Macedonian population would respond positively to a new daily that would be completely independent from political influence.
    The initial daily circulation of the paper was approximately 10,000 copies per day. While this was respectable for a new daily, further growth prospects appeared impeded by a distribution network largely controlled by the two government dailies and by the refusal of the printing house related to the two government dailies to print Dnevnik on anything resembling reasonable terms.
    Late in 1996, Krug took aggressive steps to overcome these problems and dramatically increase circulation. First, the company established a good working relationship with a roto-printer in Kocani -Evropa '92, which while inconvenient due to distance, provided reliable printing at a reasonable cost. Second, Krug bypassed the government-controlled distribution network of kiosks by employing over 200 street vendors in Skopje and other Macedonian towns. Finally, the street price of Dnevnik was slashed from 20 denars to 5 denars per copy. Within a very short period of time, Dnevnik's circulation soared to 55,000 copies per day, even briefly topping 78,000 copies before the other two dailies reacted to the competition. Quality journalism, the low price, and the newsboys on the streets quickly became the trademark of Dnevnik.
     The other two major dailies, "Vecer" and "Nova Makedonija" eventually responded by reducing their prices to 10 and 15 denars, respectively, which reduced Dnevnik's circulation by some fifteen percent. Currently, Dnevnik's circulation runs between 50,000 and 70,000 copies per day, with Vecer running at about 35,000 and Nova Makedonija running around 10,000. Krug's sole product is its general interest daily newspaper that is published six days per week. The black and white paper normally has twenty-eight to thirty-two pages, of which approximately 40 percent are devoted to advertising. The paper has the conventional national, local, and world news sections, as well as business, sports, culture, television listings, weather, etc. sections.
     Three days per week, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, Dnevnik contains a color insert with a specific theme for each day. On Tuesday, "Oglasi" insert with free classifieds, on Friday the "Antenna" insert has expanded television listings, movie reviews, articles on popular entertainers, etc., and on Saturday, the "Weekend" insert has more of a hodge-podge of crossword puzzles, recipes, horoscopes, sensational stories, etc. Occasionally, the paper includes an additional advertising insert, usually from one company, such as a local supermarket, announcing specials and so forth. The Dnevnik editions have proven to be very popular, with circulation generally being 15,000 copies higher on these days. The paper is currently priced at ten denars (approximately twenty US cents). Current circulation nationwide runs between 50,000 and 70,000 sold copies per day, depending upon the day of the week and the time of the year.
Being a general daily newspaper, Dnevnik's market is the general reading population of Macedonia, a country of approximately 2.1 million people. Newspapers are widely-read in Macedonia and the market is currently served by four major dailies, which are described in more detail below. The current overall national circulation for daily newspapers runs from 90,000 to 120,000 (except Sundays, for which there is no paper). There are four major daily newspapers in Macedonia, Dnevnik, Nova Makedonija, Vecher and Utrinski Vesnik.
As previously mentioned, there are four major daily newspapers with national coverage in Macedonia, Dnevnik, Vecher, Nova Makedonija and Utrinski Vesnik.
    
Newspaper readers are a fairly loyal group of consumer and this is certainly the case with Dnevnik. Dnevnik's customer profile is rather broad, but generally includes educated adults and young adults that demand daily information from a source with no political agenda beyond those of normal, independent journalists.
A survey of Dnevnik issues indicates that the paper regularly carries advertisers that represent a diversified base of well-known companies. These advertisers are very satisfied with the price and service of the newspaper, particularly with respect to its competitors.
     A critical element of Dnevnik's success was its creative response to the distribution monopoly that the Nova Makedonija held throughout the country. When the newspaper was established, the only distribution system for newspapers and magazines that existed in the country was the one of Nova Makedonija. The system included an extensive network of trucks and convenience kiosks that blanketed the country. Virtually all newspaper and magazines were sold via these types of kiosks, most all of which, particularly those with prime locations, were controlled by Nova Makedonija. Nova Makedonija did not allow Dnevnik to use its distribution network because it was a business competitor and because Dnevnik was critical of the ruling former communist party, which was supported by Nova Makedonija. Thus, Krug was forced to established its own distribution network with minimal capital.
The backbone of this system has been a cadre of newsboys that started selling the newspaper on the streets. The newsboys pick up the papers every day at a central distribution point and then sell them in various intersections. This was first introduced in Skopje and then was quickly replicated throughout the country.
     As the newspaper was building its market share, other distribution companies with capital for trucks emerged on the market to distribute Dnevnik to private shops and kiosks not controlled by Nova Makedonija. As the company begins to see itself more as a media company rather than just a newspaper and magazine publisher, there are clearly significant growth opportunities throughout the Macedonia media sector, which is underdeveloped in the country.
     Krug purchased its own roto-printing press in 1998 and offered to Europa to establish a joint venture of sorts to print the paper. A third company has been established to print the paper, using the printing press of Krug and the aforementioned industrial building, which Europa 92 recently constructed in Skopje. Krug and Europa 92 are equal partners in this third company - DE - and each has retained ownership of the press and building, respectively, with these two assets being used at no direct cost by the new company.
The company presently employs around 90 full-time people, plus over 200 newsboys that are indirect employees.

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