Archive for the ‘Publishers’ Category

Groupe Rossel bids for Schibsted stake in French 20 minutes

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

20MinutesFranceNorwegian publisher Schibsted has received an offer for its 49.3 percent share in 20 Minutes France from the Belgium Groupe Rossel.

The publisher “is now entering a phase of exclusive negotiation. If agreement on terms is reached, the deal is subject to a standard approval process with the French Competition Authorities. The transaction is estimated to close around October 2015.”

Rossel owns newspapers, magazines and websites in French Belgium (Le Soir, La Meuse) and the north of France (La Voix du Nord). It also has a stake in Belgium commercial broadcter RTL. In total it owns dozen of media brands.

The remaining shares of 10 Minutes are owned by groupe SIPA-Ouest-France, also owning regional newspapers in France.

The group said on their website that the plan were to strenghten the 20 Minutes brand.


“If the deal goes through we strongly believe that Rossel will be a good new shareholder for 20 Minutes in France. Rossel is a major player in news media in Belgium, with solid presence in France ; it shares the same publishing values as Ouest France, 20 Minutes’ other reference shareholder, and as such gives 20 Minutes a perspective of continuity. Over the last 13 years, Ouest France proved a solid and trustworthy partner in 20 Minutes; we wish them all the best for the future,” says Pierre-Francois Marteau, Senior Vice President of Strategy at Schibsted and former Chair of the Board at 20 Minutes France.

20 Minutes is the leading free daily in France, second is Direct Matin. Third paper Metro (now Metronews, owned by TF1) is about to be closed.


Book on 20 years of Metro

Monday, February 2nd, 2015
Konsten att skaffa sig fiender i hela världen : historien om Metro
av Sakari Pitkänen

konsten-att-skaffa-sig-fiender-i-hela-varlden-historien-om-metroSakari Pitkänen, former long-time employee (editor in chief) of Metro wrote a book on 20 year history of the free Metro newspaper: “Konsten att skaffa sig fiender i hela världen: historien om Metro” (The art of making enemies in the whole  world: the story of Metro).

If the title don’t convince you, the short description will (translation with Google from Swedish): “The history of the Metro contains assault with automatic weapons, employees who are abused and directors who are put in jail.

On 13 February 1995 the first issue of Metro appeared. This book ‘celebrates’ its history. Sakari Pitkänen is the former executive editor of Metro International, which the world’s largest newspaper with a circulation of over 20 million copies a day.

Metro US acquires Philadelphia City Paper

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 14.59.10Metro US, operating three editions in the USA: Philadelphia, New York and Boston, has bought the alternative free weekly Philadelphia City Paper from its owner, the Rock family.

The Philadelphia City Paper was founded 32 years ago, Metro Philadelphia started in 2000 as the first US edition. It is no longer aprt of the Metro International group but operated as a franchise.

The City Paper will continue as a separate editorial operation.

The two publications jointly reach over 840,000 Philadelphians every week and deliver to the most attractive and vibrant audience in Philadelphia. (Businesswire)

French free dailies confirm negotiations

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

20minutes_grenoble_2013Olivier Bonsart, director of French free daily 20 Minutes (Schibsted and Sipa-Ouest France) not only thinks that there are toon many free dailies in France, he is also talking with his colleagues from Metro (owned by TF1) and Direct Matin (Bolloré and local publishers) about merging operations.

Bonsart confirmed this at a press conference. There is nothing decided yet but there a official talks between the owners.

The three dailies had losses of 18 million in 2013. The situation with three dailies in one country, each with a national coverage, is unique in Europe.

In June or the beginning of July 20 Minutes will also launch a new website. (CB News)

Loses for 20 Minutes France and 20 Minutos Spain

Friday, April 11th, 2014

The annual report 2013 of Norwegian mediahouse Schibsted revealed that the 20 Minutes operations in Spain and France are still losing money.

In 2013 this amounted to 37 million NOK (€4.5 million), thanks to cost cutting this was les than in 2013 (48 million NOK).

In Spain the economic situation is still a major problem, 20 Minutos is still the market leader in newspapers.

In France there is fierce competition between three free dailies: 20 Minutes, Metro and DirectMatin. Publishers are thinking about merging titles.

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 15.40.03

Israel Today buys Makor Rishon and Ma’ariv online

Monday, March 31st, 2014

makorThe ultra-orthodox daily Makor Rishon and the Ma’ariv online edition nrg are acquired by Sheldon Adelson’s daily Israel Today for 14 million (Makor Rishon, right) and NIS 3 million (nrg) (total €3.5 million).

According to Globes: “Judge David Mintz expressed reservations about the sale because it does not also include the Hebrew daily newspaper “Ma’ariv” itself. However, Adv. Shalom Goldblatt stressed that the most important thing at the moment was to save the brands and the employees rather than the company.”

Ma’ariv is still for sale, the offer from the Jerusalem Post was not accepted.

Jensen leaves Metro International

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Metro International announced on December 16 that Metro’s CEO, Per-Mikael Jensen, decided to leave the company. From the press release:

Metro International has divested a large part of its global operations in the past years. The main focus is now concentrated on the six Latin-American markets and Metro Sweden. It is against this background that Per Mikael Jensen has chosen to leave Metro.

Anders Kronborg, COO at Kinnevik, will be responsible for Metro International going forward and Per Mikael will be at the company’s disposal during his notice period.

Per Mikael Jensen was quoted as well:

“I have had six great years at Metro International, and I have been fortunate to work with some very strong executives around the World. After having been part of consolidating the industry in Europe whilst having grown drastically in Latin America, this is now a good time to say thank you and look for other opportunities, either within the Group or outside”.

Adelson – “the world’s wealthiest Jew” – on Israeli newspapers

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

138708237191194458a_t_engBusiness paper Globes contained an interesting interview with Sheldon Adelson, with $37 billion “the fifth wealthiest man in the US, and the world’s wealthiest Jew”.

Gambling billionaire Adelson controls a major part of the press in Israel. He owns the largest Israli newspaper, freesheet Israel Today, and by printing contracts also supported paid newspaper Haaretz. But after Israel Today buying its own printing plant, Haaretz is believed to run into financial troubles soon.

“I’m not killing the newspaper “Haaretz” and if “Haaretz” is on its way down it’s because it’s killing itself” Adelson told Globes.

Although Israel Today and Adelson clearly support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the owner denies to do so, and instead launched an attack at  the “unofficial dictator Noni Mozes”, publisher of the largest paid Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot:

“what you see is what Noni Mozes writes about Bibi exaggerations, half-truths and lies, and what you read in our newspaper is a fair and balanced viewpoint not only about Bibi but about everyone”

New owners for Washington Express and Metro Boston

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

express_2013The sale of the Washington Post and The Boston Globe also means different owners for the free dailies that are published by the papers.

Amazon-founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos is now also the owner of free paper Express after he bought The Washington Post.

Bezos will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications. Bezos will become the sole owner of the papers when the sale is completed. (Washington Post)

Express was launched in August 2003, it has a circulation of 180,000.

The New York Times sold the Boston Globe for $70 million to John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Sports Group, Fenway Park, and 80 percent of the New England Sports Network.

metro_boston_2013The New England Media Group consists of,, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette,, the direct-mail marketing company Globe Direct, and the company’s interest (49%) in Metro Boston. (KUGN)

Metro Boston was launched in 2001; a year later Metro joined forces with the Boston Globe on joint advertising; in 2005 The New Yok Times Company (owner of Boston Globe) took an interest of 49% in Metro Boston. This edition has a circulation of around 150,000.

Metro USA changed hands in june 2009 when Seabay Media (controled by former Metro CEO Pelle Törnberg) bought the US papers (other editions in Philadelphia and New York).

Schibsted report loses for 20 minutes in Q1 2013

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 12.50.40 PMThe free newspaper operations of Norwegian Media House Schibsted in France (20 Minutes) and Spain (20 Minutos) showed a loss (EBITDA) of 23 milljon NOK (€3 million) in Q1 of 2013 against a operating revenue of 68 million NOK (€9 million).

In 2012 the EBITDA for both operations was 48 million NOK (€6.3 million).

20 Minutes France had a revenue decline of 20 percent in Q1 2013, 20 Minutes Spain saw revenues declining by 23 percent.

In both countries cost reductions have been realized or are still in progess.