Le Matin says goodbye with 64 pages and an obituary

Le Matin, the largest daily newspaper in French-speaking Switzerland, bids farewell to its readers with a 64-page special edition and a simple obituary on the front page. A Saturday dernière full of emotion and sadness.

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The outgoing editor-in-chief Grégoire Nappey told Keystone-SDA that 80,000 copies of the last issue had been printed, double the usual print run. The farewell newspaper comprises 64 pages and will be available on newsstands at the normal price until next Tuesday. On the front page of the last print edition, a simple, black-and-white obituary with the names of all employees announces the "deeply saddened" passing of Le Matin.

In addition, on Saturday, on the initiative of the "little brothers and sisters, cousins" of all the other Tamedia newspapers in French-speaking Switzerland, an obituary appeared in six titles to mark the end of Le Matin. Le Matin was euthanized at dawn on July 21, 2018, at the age of 125, without pain-relieving measures, it says. In lieu of flowers, the bereaved family asks that you please "pay for information". Le Matin was from the Tribune de Lausanne which was founded in 1893.

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The orange DNA

Whoever read the last issue of the Le Matin that has what it takes to become a collector's item, once again encounters all the departments that are important for the creation of a printed newspaper: Production, title setting, photo service, graphics department, delivery, newsstands and journalists.

On 64 pages, the editorial team offers its readers its latest primeurs, revelations and articles. The editors write about everyday and extraordinary events, explain the orange DNA of what has been the largest daily newspaper in French-speaking Switzerland, and report on unforgettable encounters. Once again, the editors take their hats off to their readers. On eight pages, the newspaper gives a few hundred readers a face in the form of lined-up passport-like photos with some testimonials. Faces from politics and society who have provided the newspaper with the big headlines over the past decades also appear once again.

Preserving the old spirit digitally

Although it Le Matin will only be available digitally in future, the staff wanted to preserve the old spirit of the newspaper, as the new editor-in-chief Laurent Siebenmann writes. The decision to abandon the printed edition was made by the Tamedia publishing house. Tamedia justified the move with the 34 million francs in losses it had made on the printed edition of Le Matin over the past ten years. The Zurich-based media group will therefore focus exclusively on a "solid digital brand" in future. It had also unilaterally ended the mediation process with the social partners on Thursday, triggering strong reactions from cantonal governments and unions. The end of Le Matin was widely echoed in various headlines in all the other daily newspapers in French-speaking Switzerland on Saturday. The end is a shame for the whole of French-speaking Switzerland, headlines Le Temps. Popular and cheeky, Le Matin has given a face to the Swiss media landscape, it says in 24 heures. Le Matin is turning over a new leaf, but the media landscape remains vibrant, according to the Tribune de Genève.

The newspapers in German-speaking Switzerland have fewer words to say. The NZZ writes of a "turbulent end" to the daily newspaper. The Tamedia papers also describe the end of Le Matin in a few paragraphs. For most of them, the end on Saturday is not worth more than a short news item. (SDA)

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