At least 33 free dailies closed worldwide in 2009 according to the latest issue of the Free Daily Newspapers newsletter, which was released this week. Likewise, total free daily circulation fell 12 percent to 37 million (from 43 million at end of 2008). However, there were some launches to offset some of the closures and according to Free Daily Newspapers Publisher Piet Bakker, there are currently a total of 56 free dailies worldwide down from a high of 60 in 2008 and 2009.
Bakker, who has tracked free daily newspapers worldwide for several years, is professor of Cross Media Content at Hogeschool Utrecht and associate professor in the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam. He started the Free Daily Newspapers newsletter in 2004 and it now has 900 subscribers.