The online portal Diário Digital reported that the administration of Diário Económico informed employees of ‘‘the decision to suspend the newspaper’s print publication“ the day before it happened. Employees had gone on a 24-hour strike on 10 March demanding that their delayed salaries be paid. Two days earlier, the newspaper’s editorial board had resigned, the report adds.
Based in Lisbon, Diário Económico is the oldest daily newspaper on economic matters in Portugal, according to the Portuguese economic news publication OJE. Its media group also runs a TV channel (ETV), which administrators plan to try to maintain. The entrepreneur Jaime Antunes, former journalist and co-founder of Diário Económico, has ‘‘manifested himself… as available in case a group of investors decides to recover the print edition“, although no concrete plans are on the horizon, OJE also reports.
OJE quotes former Diário Económico director António Costa, writing in the newspaper’s last print edition, that it ‘‘does not end because of its journalists, it ends because the shareholder disappeared and did not let another one replace him in time“. Costa resigned from Diário Económico in March 2015.
The newspaper's holding group, Ongoing Strategy Investments, had been undergoing financial difficulties for months, reported the daily newspaper Público. With a circulation of 13.195 copies for the last two months of 2015, Diário Económico was actually the “leader in sales in Portugal's economic press‘‘, according to the same article.
The rate of daily press consumption in Portugal is lower than that of many European countries, according to the 2014 Eurobarometer report “Media Use in the European Union“.
In a phone interview with ECPMF, veteran Portuguese journalism commentator José Manuel Nobre Correia, who has been closely following the situation at Diário Económico, called Portugal‘s current press landscape ‘‘terrible‘‘. Circulation numbers are plummeting and there have been massive layoffs, he said.
As in other parts of Europe, the economic crisis has deeply affected Portugal‘s media industry. Along with Ireland, Greece, Spain and Cyprus, Portugal has been one of the EU countries hardest hit by crisis.