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News 15 Nov 12

Tabloid 'Press' to Close Serbian Print Edition

Belgrade daily is to stop publishing print editions in Serbia, blaming production losses - but editions will still come out in Bosnia and online.

Nemanja Cabric
BIRN
Belgrade

News that the paper founded in 2005 is ceasing its print operations in Serbia emerged on Thursday.

The Belgrade-based newspaper will continue to publish in the Republika Srpska, the Serb-run entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as bringing out an online edition.

The weekly magazine will also continue to work, as well as all editions that are separate legal entities from the newspaper.

The news follows the announcement by owner Delta Holding's president, Miroslav Miskovic, on November 12, that he was withdrawing from Press.

Miskovic explained his move as a personal "contribution to the government's drive to establish full freedom of the media" by putting an end to covert financing and ownership.

Last month, Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister, pledged to unveil who the real owners of Serbia's media were, naming Miskovic and the Mayor of Belgrade, Dragan Djilas, as the true owners of Press.

According to a 2011 report by Serbia's Anti-corruption Council, nine out of 11 national broadcasters have non-transparent ownership structures.

Following Miskovic's announcement, Vucic said on Tuesday that it was "good that the case has started to unwind.

"It is important to respect transparent ownership and to make it clear who owns what in Serbia," he added.

Employees of Press have given the owners one month to pay all overdue salaries, and have announced protests if this does not happen.

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