#Media4EU 2|4 0f 20 media groups to ‘go European’: most failed, not all

#Media4EU 2|4 0f 20 media groups to ‘go European’: most failed, not all

(July 2015 small update: As the FT is bought by Nikkei, it is interesting to look back at previous attempts across borders. Including 3 involving the FT itself, and one by its sister media The Economist. All these four failed…)

I count around 30 attempts to develop ‘European media’ since the EU was set-up in 1958  (no, I was not born). Including nearly 20 by what can be called ‘media groups’. Depending on how you count, nearly 10 of these media still exist, but I think not all will make it to 2020.

The list of attempts offers lessons and hopes

The list below is roughly chronological, non-exhaustive, but recalling most attempts by media companies to tackle the EU news or pan European media market. This ranges from specialised and Brussels-centric to broad and semi-national concepts with some European ambition. Plus I added some of the EU institution projects that claim to be media (as opposed to just ‘social media’ or sheer websites)

Legend: (not scientific, comments welcome at the bottom)

  • † : closed or nearly dormant
  • SOLD: acquired and modified ambition
  • ? : dependent on one main client,  or unproven yet in my opinion
  • ?? : even more struggling
  • [not directly independent ‘European media’, but relevant part of landscape]
  • (No marking): independent media, not a failure at this stage
  • In bold: those I guess have involved medium to large size money. And from these, underlined: most promising concepts, in my humble opinion, some stopped, some of them still growing.

Why did most of them not succeed?

This is the subject of another post, on 10 strategic challenges, here.

Having a vibrant European political landscape would of course help: it’s a chicken and egg question.

Now let’s move to what actually happened over the past decades, and what’s possibly cooking.

Media before their times?

  • ? Agence Europe (the grandfather of  them all, downsized)
  • ? SOLD: Eurexpansion (L’Expansion, Handelsblatt, Milano Finansa etc), now reduced to Europolitique
  • [ † BBC Radio medium wave 648, had news in EN / FR / DE]
  • † The European (Maxwell, then Barclays brothers)
  • † L’Européen (Christine Okrent and Le Monde)
  • [Europe editions of international print magazines: not EU focused, most went national, global, or folded]
  • † Joint venture WSJ/Handelsblatt (shrunk, in different form: WSJ-Europe. See below: Handelsblatt Global Edition)
  • SOLD & Rebranded: International Herald Tribune, Paris, integrated as ‘New York Times International’
  • SOLD to disappear: European Voice (The Economist, seldom broke even, sold to a Paris event organiser DII). Latest, see below: in Spring 2015, European Voice will disappear, and give way to the start of Politico.eu.

Around internet, lower barriers from the 90’s

  • [EU official websites: plenty, notably Europa.eu and Europarl.eu, also country-targeting ones led by Commision ‘rep Offices. Also State-backed ones, e.g. Touteleurope (France), Eurotopics (Germany, press reviews) etc]
  • [Plus UK titles growing readership in EU circles: The Economist and Financial Times, now more global than European. And The Guardian, still growing]
  • † Europe Online (Burda, Lagardère etc), leading to this website:
  • ?? EUBusiness
  • Euronews, mainly public sector, still growing but financially challenged (updated feb 2015: will increase its capital, including Sawiris Egyptian group, who will take the majority)
  • EurActiv, still growing, publishes in 12 EU languages & teams in 12 EU capitals
  • Rebranded: EUPolitix (Huveaux then DODS, now refocused, notably Parliament Magazine)
  • † FT Deutschland (closed. Pearson tried to have a series of business newspapers: Les Echos in France, Expansion in Spain were acquired then sold)
  • † La Quinzaine de Bruxelles (with Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace), followed by † L’Européenne de Bruxelles
  • ? (plus many smaller website & blog teams, some struggling, some going, some with national angles: EuropaDigital, Myeurop, AquiEuropa, Contexte, some multilingual like Cafébabel, some English only  like EUObserver, some with print: New Europe, E-Sharp, some focused on videos in English: Vieuws, EUReporter, one print distributed as in-flight: European Business Review)

Recent & probably upcoming?

  • ? EU Insight (DPA agency, partly downsized)
  • [M-LEX, high-end but few readers]
  • † Presseurop (EU Commission-funded, contracted to Courrier Int’l (groupe LeMonde), stopped)
  • † EuroparlTV (European Parliament, about to refocus as EP TV)
  • [plus non-journalistic websites feeding on others’ content, eg Google News, Yahoo News etc, little EU angle so far]
  • ? Handelsblatt Global Edition in English, just started
  • ? Huffington Post Global / WorldPost
  • ? Springer / Politico Europe? In Spring 2015, European Voice will disappear, and give way to the start of Politico.eu.

And some others I do not recall or don’t know yet? A reminder please? Thanks for your input by email or Twitter (please using #Media4EU).