The Ha’aretz Group Commercial Department will produce and publish a monthly newspaper distributed free on buses and at stations owned by the Metropolin bus company, the news website Walla Reported Wednesday.
The new magazine, titled “Drachim” (Roads), will be printed in 12, 000 copies on A4 glossy paper, and distributed in 180 buses across the country.
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It will include close to 100 pages with some Ha’aretz content as well as its own articles.
Ha’aretz, like several other Israeli daily newspapers has been impacted by the free news daily “Israel Hayom” (Israel Today), financed by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. In fact, the freebie’s success in Israel is so overwhelming, its major rival, the daily “Yedioth Aharonoth” (Latest News) supported a Knesset bill that aimed to force publishers to charge a minimum fee for their daily papers.
The bill had passed its initial vote in the Knesset when Prime Minister Netanyahu—Adelson’s favorite politician, in and out of Israel—dissolved parliament and called new elections.
Now Ha’aretz is following Adelson’s example, although only once a month.
The Metropolin bus company plans to distribute the new magazine in all its 180 urban buses, in cities across the country: Kfar Saba, Herzliya, Ramat Hasharon, Ra’anana, Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Rehovot, Kiryat Gat, Gedera, Sderot, Netivot, Beersheba, Arad, Yeruham and Mitzpe Ramon.
Sharon Shavit Agam, vice president of customer and business development at Metropolin told Walla: “The cooperation with Ha’aretz is an inseparable part of the overall service we offer passengers on Metropolin lines. The magazine “Drachim, ” with its rich content which appeals to different audiences, offers an opportunity to allow passengers to get to know the company’s drivers and to keep up to date on new service offerings and activities.”