The Slovenia Times

New Večer Newspaper Head Looking for Fresh Momentum


Struc, who is looking for a new editor-in-chief, is not happy about the planned VAT rise for papers, saying their prices have already reached a limit. Born in Maribor, Struc says that he feels strongly about Večer, that he already met most of the employees during his first day at work and that talks are under way at different levels.

Commenting on the reasons for the change at the helm of Večer, he says that the owners must have felt the time was right for new ideas that will help bridge the current crisis in the media environment and give Večer a new momentum.

"The paper needs a new impetus in terms of content as well as on the business side and this is what we will be working on in the coming months."

According to Struc, his predecessor Uroš Skuhala has received a number of warnings from journalists as well as owners, Struc is however not familiar with the details.

Given the media situation, "cost cutting and reducing the benefits of the workers is not enough to secure a long-term solution". "One needs to find other ways of increasing revenue and thereby allow journalists to produce a quality paper, which will be sold successfully."

"Intervening cost-wise is of course always a possibility and we might be forced into it by the circumstances, but I would plan this as the last and not the first measure."

Struc wants to first focus on "finding a person who will be able to follow this pace at the post of the editor-in-chief".

He is presently holding talks with several candidates, including with incumbent editor Tomaž Ranc, and expects a decision in the coming days.

Struc also wants to boost the company's reputation and brand name and sees opportunities especially in development and marketing that targets specifics groups of readers. "All media are presently trying to enter the digital sphere, but nobody has a final model of how to live on that."

According to Struc, Večer is not doing that bad financially, but things are changing both in terms of the number of readers and, like with all media in Slovenia, in terms of revenue from advertising.

He points to changing reading habits, especially among the young and the fact that papers are no longer the main platform for information, but argues that the key thing will be to be ready when the economy starts picking up again.

Struc is worried about the announced VAT raise, pointing out that the government may have based its calculations on the presumption that sales figures will not drop. He feels the move will bring nothing good for the media but also not much good for the budget.

While consumers are usually forced to carry the brunt of VAT increases on their shoulders, Struc notes that the prices of papers have possibly already hit a ceiling, "which is why we will have to think hard about what to do if this measure becomes reality".


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