De Persgroep, publisher of, among others , The Latest News and The Morning, has recently become the sole shareholder in Medialaan (VTM). All of the editorial boards of both groups are now brought together under one roof, called News City. There are (for now) and no redundancies.
The abuzz for months with rumors about the plans of the School, all of the publishing group of Christian Van Thillo Roularta uitkocht and the full control obtained over Medialaan. The School, currently located in Asse, been building for some time an ambitious new headquarters of the Kievitplein, behind the Antwerp Central Station. It was already whispered that the editors of the newspapers (The Morning and The Last News) and magazines (Humo and dag allemaal, Story ...) there were to be accommodated. After the acquisition of Medialaan, fell to hear that the where the report is ignored VTM, including the news studios, to Antwerp would move. And last week leaked all that Jörgen Oosterwaal, the chief editor of Humo, coordinating editor-in-chief of Humo and De Morgen, and that both editors would be merged
First of all: the move to Antwerp is still not sure. What’s certain is: all editors are indeed brought together under one roof. Antwerp is the preferred location, but that node is later made. The establishment of Medialaan in Vilvoorde is also an option.
The new media group, created from The Persgroep and Medialaan (whose name we have not yet been announced), don’t wait on that decision to do all the work to make the integration of all editorial publications: newspapers, magazines, tv and online. That will be starting in april, many working more closely, in anticipation of the physical move to a single location. There is also already a name for that collective of editors: News City. Under that umbrella will be 400 people work (journalists, copy editors, graphic designers, production workers).
At the head of the new structure will be three men (very few women in the whole new management structure, incidentally). The daily flow is managed by Paul Daenen, long time editor-in-chief of The Latest News, and for decades a confidant of Van Thillo. Daenen is in a manner of speaking from pension recalled, he is 65 and was already on the ‘uitbollen’. Kris Hoflack, currently editor in chief VTM Nieuws, keeps the focus on the long-term (journalistic dossiers and projects), and the actua – and sports programs under his wing. The business management is in the hands of Kurt Minnen, who is also on digital media herds on the ice.
That triumvirate carries a small army of editors-in-chief. The already mentioned Oosterwaal in Humo and De Morgen, Frank Depoorter at The Latest News, Nicholas Lataire VTM News. And online: Dimitri Antonissen (HLN.be, VTM.be and a digital central nieuwsdesk) and An Goovaerts (Demorgen.be). And then there are the other showbizzbladen (especially Day All and Story), each with its own editor-in-chief for some time under an umbrella editor-in-chief work, Klaus Van Isacker.
All that needs to be streamlined, is for now unclear. What editorial synergies are possible, also. Online and in the department of showbiz are easier to bear in mind that in the nieuwsgerichte paper expenditure. Whether this drastic surgery (in some cases strongly) downward trend in sales can bring, is an open question. In addition, lurks the danger of loss of identity of the various editions. On the redactievloeren is mainly about that last aspect concern. And about job losses, of course.
The exercise begins in april, many will gradually have to be clear. Lost in this initial phase, in any case, no jobs.