The Prague Post
"The Prague Post" is an
English-languageweekly newspapercovering the Czech Republicand Central and Eastern Europe.
It is the most popular English-language newspaper in the country. The target audience is English-speaking
expatriates living in the Czech Republic or neighbouring countries and tourists. The Prague Post reaches approximately 40,000 readers.
The history of the newspaper began in
Prague, two years after the Velvet Revolution(in 1991).
Mission and Goals
"The Prague Post" is the leading English-language information source in the
Czech Republicthrough its newspaper, and related products and services. With integrity and professionalism "The Prague Post" aims to provide:
1. The highest reader and advertiser satisfaction;
2. Responsible public service to various demographic communities;
3. Outstanding employee relations and opportunities for growth.
The goal of "The Prague Post" is to present a trusted, independent source of news to readers. Stories are intended to be complete and balanced so they are informative and timely pieces. "The Prague Post" supports no political party. While many newspapers and magazines in the
Czech Republicare linked with specific points of view, "The Prague Post" attempts to objectively present all sides of a story, regardless of how controversial.
Based on this original mission statement, "The Prague Post" still strives to be the English-language newspaper of record for the
"The Prague Post" newspaper is published by Prague Post, spol. s r.o. (spol. s r.o. = Ltd.).
The current Editor-in-Chief is Frank Kuznik.
In July 1991, Lisa Frankenberg and Kent Hawryluk, two employees of "Prognosis", an English-language monthly newspaper in
Praguewhich began publication in March 1991, came to the realisation that there was a ripe market in the then Czechoslovakiafor a weekly broadsheet newspaper.
Together with Monroe Luther, an investor from
Houston, Texas, they formed Lion’s Share Group, a privately held, Czech limited-liability company (spol s r.o.) that was created to be the information leader in the region. Kent Hawryluk served as Founding Publisher and Lisa Frankenberg as Founding General Manager. Other programs introduced at that time were the Business Network, Lion’s Share Group Publishing and the Prague Post Foundation (set up separately as a Czech-registered, non-profit foundation, and which later became The Prague Post Endowment Fund with the change in Czech nonprofit laws).
The mission of "The Prague Post" was simple and direct: to publish the best possible English-language newspaper for and about the rapidly changing Czechoslovakia and more broadly, Central Europe. The aim was to place particular emphasis on news, business, and cultural listings.
Alan Levy, a foreign correspondent for the International Herald Tribuneand author of "So Many Heroes", an eyewitness account of the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, was hired as the Founding Editor-in-Chief. The original staff hired by Levy included former reporters and editors from a wide range of magazines and daily newspapers, including the "Sacramento Bee", "Sacramento Union", "The New York Review of Books", "Business International", the "Grinnell Herald-Register", "Fortune" magazine and the "Tampa Tribune".
Lion’s Share Group established the wholly-owned subsidiary company Prague Post s.r.o. in March, 1994 to take over the publishing of the newspaper, while Lion’s Share Group became a holding company. This structural change did not affect the daily operations of the newspaper and remains in place today.
"The Prague Post", located in a small room off Old Town Square in
Prague, debuted with a 12- page issue on October 1, 1991. The first paper covered news and business, offered a weekly calendar of listings and included a regular pub guide.
In late 1991, the paper moved to larger offices on Politických vězňů, off
Wenceslas Square, and increased to 16 pages.
In February 1992, “Night & Day,” a redesigned and enlarged cultural listings section, was introduced. A regular features page concentrating on in-depth news, culture and lifestyle articles debuted in early May 1992.
The paper underwent extensive redesign, increased to 24 pages, switched street delivery days from Tuesdays to Wednesdays and moved printing operations to
Frankfurt, Germany, on November 18, 1992. This enabled it to offer color capability to advertisers, higher quality print resolution and more timely international distribution. Several new regular sections appeared at this time including sports, “The Big Picture,” a page devoted to news from Central and Eastern European regions and “East View,” a column of material from other English-language newspapers in Central and Eastern Europe.
Kent Hawryluk’s day-to-day involvement with the newspaper ended in December 1992, and Lisa Frankenberg took over the responsibilities of publisher. An additional suite of rooms was added to the offices at Politických vězňů and the staff continued to expand, along with the company’s investment in computers and publishing equipment.
A monthly supplement devoted to special news coverage about
Slovakiaand entertainment listings for Bratislavawas introduced in January, 1993, but was later curtailed as reporting became more difficult in Slovakia. In July 1993, “Summer in the City” was published as a tabloid insert for the remaining weeks of the summer. The tabloid included up-to-the-minute travel information for tourists, filling in where the guidebooks left off.
"The Prague Post" launched special pullout sections on September 1, 1993: “Money & Markets,” “Travel & Leisure” and “Real Estate.” These sections, aimed at providing expert, specialized coverage, appeared on the first, second and third weeks of the month, respectively. The remaining week(s) of each month were filled with a series of special topics, including “Computers & Technology,” “The Modern Office,” “Human Resources” and “Fashion.” The special sections have changed and evolved over the years in response to readers’ needs.
The newspaper moved into newly reconstructed offices in the historic YMCA building at Na Poříčí 12 on December 1, 1993.
"The Prague Post" underwent a significant redesign on January 19, 1994, transforming the second section into the tabloid-size pullout “Night & Day.” This newly designed pullout consisted of articles detailing culture, features, listings, and a Prague Profile. It also introduced several new additions such as the Service Page, Ask Eva (an advice column), My Gene Pool (a cartoon strip) and reviews. The front section of the paper, consisting of news, business, sports and opinion also received a design improvement at this time.
Later in 1994, “Night & Day” increased in size to include the classifieds section. At this time, the business editorial department also began publishing weekly researched industry lists that are included in the annual Book of Lists.
The 1995 "Book of Lists", under development throughout 1994, was published in early 1995. An updated version of the "Book of Lists" was published annually until 2000.
In 1995 the paper continued to grow in all areas as advertising revenue increased. The Prague Post began sponsoring two well-known events: the
Karlovy Vary International Film Festivaland the Valtice Arts Festival.
"The Prague Post" celebrated its 5th Anniversary on September 28, 1996, with a black-tie, gala evening at Národní Dům na Vinohradech, attended by over 1,000 guests with dignitaries, including five ambassadors, past and present employees and clients. This Gala event was a memorable evening, aptly marking a significant occasion in the life of the newspaper and its importance in the market.
"The Prague Post" added sponsorship of the Prague International Marathon in the summer of 1996, and published a 12-page, four-color tabloid Holiday Shopping Guide for the month of December.
In April 1997, "The Prague Post" was awarded first place for ‘Excellence in Newspaper Marketing’ by the International Newspaper Marketing Association for an in-house marketing campaign.
On April 1, 1997, "The Prague Post" launched a new product, The Prague Post Online, with a site on the World Wide Web at “www.praguepost.cz” (today it is “www.praguepost.com”). The site offered several top stories from the weekly newspaper as well as information for tourists and relocation information for people planning to move to Prague. By 1998, the site was receiving over 65,000 “hits” each week, with 85% coming from outside the
In May, 1998, Lisa Frankenberg returned from business school to resume an active role in the day-to-day operations of the newspaper as President and Publisher.
The newspaper underwent another significant redesign near the end of 1999. Randy Stano, winner of two Pulitzer prizes for design, was recruited to undertake the process of re-designing the newspaper. "The Prague Post" was granted an Award of Excellence for re-design by the Society of News Design.
The offices of "The Prague Post" were relocated to a two-storey office space at Štěpánská 20 in Prague 1, where they remain today.
Since its strong debut, "The Prague Post" has attracted much international media coverage, with articles about the paper and its staff appearing in
"USA Today", the "Los Angeles Times", "The Washington Post", "The New York Times", "Smithsonian", "Fortune", "The Colombia Journalism Review", "Advertising Age", "The European" and "Telegraph" of London. In addition, the newspaper was profiled on BBC, NBC, CBS( 60 Minutesand the CBS Evening News) and ABC (Prime Time Live and the ABC Evening News).
"The Prague Post" was re-launched with its new design and format on January 19, 2000. Printing of the newspaper was moved from
Frankfurtto a printing house in Prague.
"The Prague Post" received three design awards from the Society of News Design in 2001. The website was re-designed and re-launched in the autumn 2001. Its new face attracted new and existing readers with an estimated 10,000 hits per day.
"The Prague Post" introduced a successful new product – "Dining Out Guide" – first published in 2003. It is a guide to the finest culinary experiences in Prague.
On April 2, 2004
Alan Levypassed away, aged 72. Two weeks later, "The Prague Post" said goodbye to its founding Editor-in-Chief in a public memorial service attended by numerous personalities of Czech political, business and cultural life.
The company also worked toward improving the quality of the paper and the services provided, including the rest of its publishing portfolio – the "Book of Lists" and "Dining Out Guide".
In 2006, "The Prague Post" also helped with the revival of English-language theatre in
Praguewith the launching of the first annual Prague Post Playwriting Contest.
In 2006, "The Prague Post" proudly celebrated its 15th birthday. The night was in recognition of The Prague Post’s long-standing tradition as a reputable English-language newspaper in the
Former and current staff were recognised on the night for their contributions to the development and growth of the Czech Republic’s oldest and most popular English-language newspaper.
Alan Levywas remembered and recognised on the night for his years of service and dedication to the paper.
In 2007, two new supplements were added to the newspaper. The “Luxury Hotel Guide” was designed to provide an in-depth look into the luxury hotels around Prague, while the “Weddings” supplement offers insight into all facets of wedding planning.
The Prague Post Endowment Fund
The Prague Post Endowment Fund began as the Prague Post Foundation, a local non-profit organization founded in 1992. The goals were to enrich education and foster a place for the non-profit sector in the
Czech Republic. Originally the PPF published a weekly column, "Networking," which was the only source of news and information about the newly-developing Czech Civil Society and non-profit sector. It also provided bi-weekly English-language education programs based on "The Prague Post" newspaper for secondary schools throughout the Czech Republicand Slovakia. In 1997, Czech laws changed to recognise the increasing role of non-profit organisations. The Prague Post Foundation became The Prague Post Endowment Fund, and continues to prepare educational programs for secondary school students. Educational materials are sent along with "The Prague Post" to more than 60 schools throughout the Czech Republic. The Fund provides scholarships and supports young journalists.
"The Prague Post" Playwriting Contest
"The Prague Post" Playwriting Contest started in 2007 with the goal of bringing together artists and the theatre-going community. For its inaugural year, more than 100 scripts were submitted. Organized in conjunction with
The Prague Playhouse, a local English-language theatre company, the contest will not only provide some long-awaited theatre entertainment for the expat community but will also help galvanize local writers, actors, producers and directors.
The Prague Post was mentioned several times in
Arthur Phillips´s novel Prague.
* [http://www.praguepost.com Prague Post official site]
* [http://www.ppef.com Prague Post Endowment Fund official site]
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