Silvio Berlusconi’s MediaSet and Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp are poised to set the transatlantic news agenda and dominate both the EU and the US media space.
A press conference will be held later this month in Brussels to formally announce the joint venture. The new group will take over EurActiv, the online EU policy media currently in 12 languages from 12 EU capitals, and Roll Call, the Washington-based media outlet owned by The Economist.
The initial investment is not disclosed and partners are ready to subsidise it for years. The new company will be headquartered in Washington DC, but the editorial strategy will be set in Brussels.
The new venture will be called EurActiv.us, sacrificing Roll Call “for the greater good of Transatlantic friendship,” said Rupert Murdoch. “In return, and for simplicity’s sake, EurActiv will concentrate on one language in Europe and we shall use only one English spelling – American.” he added.
Led from Brussels, EurActiv will totally own the coverage of policy in Europe, the US, Canada and Mexico. EurActiv.us will begin in English but its ambitious future vision will spread to Spanish, Québécois, and possibly other tongues.
Rupert Murdoch stated: “Basically Washington and Brussels are similar cities in different countries. So this makes total sense and will be my legacy media venture.”
Leclercq to lead integration
Christophe Leclercq, founder of the EurActiv Media Network, has been appointed to lead the expansion into North America.
“By 4 July, we will have set up offices in the capital of most US states, echoing EurActiv’s approach of local editorial teams in key European capitals.”, said Christophe Leclercq, in his heavily accented English.
@LeclercqEU will oversee the tripling of EurActiv’s transatlantic team to 300. The integrated EurActiv editorial team is also expected to triple to well over 150.
Frédéric Simon, the Publisher and Editor of the Joint Venture declared: “We intend to dominate on Europe and become the dominant media in every US state capital.”
If you can dream it, you can do it
“The only limits to our ambitions are our dreams,” declared an ebullient Silvio Berlusconi. “We intend to make American politics sexier and I will gladly contribute my own Latin flair to this.”
Berlusconi said: “We are going on a hiring spree for America’s most talented media professionals. For all those that send us their CV today, April 1, I will extend an exclusive invitation for a day of networking in my Sardinian resort. Do please attach a recent picture to your CV,” he grinned.
More details will be announced in the coming weeks. Read the press release here, or have a sneak preview of the new EurActiv by clicking here.
- EurActiv France: Murdoch et Berlusconi lancent un média transatlantique
- EurActiv Germany: Murdoch und Berlusconi verkünden Übernahme von EurActiv und Roll Call