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The Independent Online
When Saturday comes

Saturdays are where it's at for national newspapers. Following the Mirror's launch of a glossy updated Saturday magazine last month The Sun is now planning something similar as part of an overhaul of the feature pages. The revamp won't, it is rumoured, touch page three, but the showbiz Bizarre column and women's pages will be given a design touch-up. The news follows The Times' announcement that it is spending pounds 10m on a Saturday magazine and promotions to support its launch later this year. One day the circulation figures for newspapers will be broken down to reveal that Saturdays are the biggest day for newspaper sales. But for now we only have seven-day figures so publishers will continue to pour money into Saturday to hold up the weekly average.

Our friends in the North ...

It may seem there is not much we have in common with the progressive societies of Scandinavia, so it is worth remembering that only the UK, Finland, Sweden and Norway have public service broadcasters free from advertising - the rest of Europe has gone down the road of a licence fee/advertising mix. The BBC has achieved more keeping advertising at bay than is sometimes realised.

It is also worth noting that in Scandinavia, because of their small populations their bigger licence fees have been even luckier to survive. The UK fee is pounds 87 a year. In Finland it is pounds 125, in Sweden pounds 130 and Norway pounds 145 a year. Even of the state broadcasters who take advertising, only Holland, Ireland and Italy have lower licence fees.

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