The Daily Mirror publisher announced the project here yesterday to British and American journalists who were told that the newspaper would promote ‘European culture, science and industry.’
‘It’s time Europe told its own story,’ he added. The newspaper is expected to have a circulation of about 200,000 and would employ between 50 and 120 journalists. Mr Maxwell said he would not repeat the mistake he made with the short-lived newspaper, the London Daily News.
‘I will never again publish a newspaper on presses I do not own,’ he said, adding that 200 of the 273 Daily News editions printed by the Daily Telegraph were late. He wanted to establish his own printing press in Paris where his Pergamon Media Trust has interests both in France’s TF1 television network and the domestic Central News Agency, ACP, which is run by his son, Ian Maxwell.
Mr Robert Maxwell said the European Daily launching would coincide with celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution and would be inspired by the lifting of European trade barriers in 1992. The newspaper owner, who is also involved in several new projects in Europe, Asia and the United States, said he was impressed by the American national tabloid, USA Today, which in some ways would be a model for the European Daily.
‘We shouldn’t be ashamed to copy some aspects,’ he added, saying his newspaper would also be a tabloid and circulate five days a week.
The newspaper would reproduce articles from other European newspapers, although he felt that most of the articles published in quality newspapers were ‘too long, too boring and difficult to understand.’
‘Correspondents here will thank me because it will force their own newspapers to give more space to European coverage,’ he added, saying European news was often blatantly disregarded. The European Daily would include at least three pages of East European news.
Mr Maxwell would not reveal exactly how much he was ready to spend, but he said he was prepared to stake ‘whatever it takes’ and he hoped to attract other European partners.
The new project would be in addition to his plans to develop a European television network which would include a Europe-wide news programme.