The names of Kellokas and Kaupunkilehti Seiska, free sheets published by the Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet business unit, will change to Vartti. Following the change, Vartti will reach more than 600,000 households, becoming Finland's fourth-largest newspaper after Helsingin Sanomat, Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti. The daily Helsingin Sanomat and the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat are also published by Sanoma.

"We are creating a single strong product in the home-distributed free sheets market. The papers have gradually adopted the look and feel of Vartti with considerable success, and the name change is a natural part of this development," says Niko Ruokosuo, President of Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet, Sanoma's free sheet unit.

Operating under a single name brings a number of benefits.

"The paper becomes more well-known among readers and advertisers alike throughout the Southern Finland. Quality becomes more uniform, and the opportunities for cooperation will increase both for the sales and the editorial staff. The research, development and marketing efforts of Vartti, as well as the expansion of Web operations, will be readily available for all regional issues of the paper," Ruokosuo continues.

The change does not mean making compromises in terms of attractiveness and local content. "Quite the contrary, the purpose of the change is to free up editorial resources for the creation and development of local content," Ruokosuo points out.

Janne Kaijärvi will continue as the Editor-in-Chief of Vartti in the Helsinki metropolitan area, while Markus Rissanen and Hannu Helineva, Editors-in-Chief for Kellokas and Kaupunkilehti Seiska respectively, will be responsible for the regional issues of their areas.

Within a year, Vartti has become the most widely read free sheet in the Helsinki metropolitan area. "We are convinced that a modern way of making a local newspaper also appeals to readers outside of the Helsinki area," Kaijärvi notes.

Vartti appears in the Helsinki metropolitan area in five regional issues: in Espoo and Vantaa, and in the Eastern, Northern and Southern Helsinki. Kellokas, distributed in four regional issues in the Tuusula, Järvenpää, Kerava, Hyvinkää, Nurmijärvi and Riihimäki areas, will change its name on April 4, with Kaupunkilehti Seiska, distributed in the Kouvola region, changing its name on April 28.

Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet Oy publishes free sheets Uutislehti 100 and Vartti for the Helsinki metropolitan area, Metro for the Southern Finland region, the pickup point sheet V for the Helsinki, Turku, and Tampere regions, Itäväylä for the Eastern Uusimaa region, the Kellokas sheets, Koillis-Helsingin Lähisanomat for North-Eastern Helsinki, Lappeenrantalainen for the Lappeenranta region, as well as Kaupunkilehti Seiska. Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet Oy is part of Sanoma Corporation, the leading newspaper publisher in Finland and a division of the SanomaWSOY Group.