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New free newspaper hits the stands

The Swiss newspaper market has to make room for yet another free newspaper, launched on Wednesday.

The first edition of German-language "News" was distributed in 1,500 boxes at commuter train stations in Basel, Zurich, Bern and across central Switzerland.

News, with a print run of 334,000 issues, brings to five the number of free dailies in the German-language market. 20 Minutes and Heute are well established while .ch was launched in September. Cash Daily covers financial news.

The new paper is published by the Tages Anzeiger group, the Basler Zeitung and the Berner Zeitung. News is in tabloid format and 40 pages long. In the first edition 13 of these were filled with advertising.

The fiercely competitive free newspaper market is expanding at a fast rate but observers say not all the publications can survive. So far the widely distributed dailies have managed to capture an audience of both regular newspaper readers and those who do not bother with the more weighty titles.

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