July 2003 – November 2007
Gyumri, Shirak Region, 2006
Since 1991, newspaper readership and the number of newspapers printed in Armenia has decreased year after year. This decline is due in large part to a lack of available options for distribution. Two large companies, Haymamul and Haypost, have maintained a monopoly on newspaper distribution since Soviet times. These companies give priority to three national newspapers, depriving the market of other papers.
When Eurasia Foundation embarked on its Print Media Distribution program in 2004, one of its biggest goals was to create an alternative to the existing monopoly on newspaper distribution. The program, implemented in partnership with the Open Society Institute, offers a viable and competitive model for expanding distribution throughout the country, as well as increasing newspaper subscriptions and sales.
Blitz Media, first established in 1988 under the name “Lars”, is one of the leading private media distribution companies in Yerevan and one of Eurasia Foundation’s partners. Eurasia Foundation also supported three other distribution companies: the Center of Educational Development of Gyumri, H. Simikian LLC and Oda Express. These companies established representative offices throughout Armenia and created new sales points. Participating distribution companies also helped newspaper staff and distribution agents improve business practices, staff capabilities and management skills.