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Sweden's 24timmar.se Challenges Local Newspapers

A small, local online news site in Sweden gained new management and funding, which the company will use hit the cities across the country and move in on local news and advertising stalwarts.

24timmar.se received new funding from venture capital company Intelligence Ventshare and media house Medstroms. More funding is expected later.

24timmar.se intends to launch new local portals in 20 larger-sized cities by the end of the year, and is expected to become a significant competitor for the established local newspapers and their online versions. 24timmar.se plans to race for local news and local advertising money.

24timmar.se have already started to recruit journalists and sales personnel in every area targeted for expansion. Local news from local sources, as well as domestic and international news from a central news desk, are viewed as tools for an efficient organization.

So far, no new organization in Sweden has posed such a threat to these old establishments. But that is about to change as 24timmar sets its sights on the local news and advertising monopolies.

Cecilia Geijer-Haeggstrom, the new Chairman of the Board that represents the investor Intelligence Ventshare, said that the Internet has already put a dent in local newspaper subscriptions and advertising revenue.

"This year the advertising on the Internet will bypass evening news press, radio and outdoor advertising," she added.

24timmar.se, which translates to "24hours", was launched in 1997 as a local news portal in the city of Orebro. At the end of last year, Krister Bengtsson of CNN Sweden, joined the company as a new investor, partner and publisher.