LONDON: Publishing company Axel Springer announced on Tuesday it has completed the acquisition of POLITICO, one of the biggest and most influential sources of political news.
The publishing group now owns 100 percent of the media properties previously owned by the founder and publisher of POLITICO, Robert Allbritton, including POLITICO, POLITICO’s 50 percent interest in POLITICO Europe, Protocol, E&E News, and Agency IQ.
Last week, Axel Springer announced plans to eventually put POLITICO’s content behind a paywall and immediately boost the political news publisher’s headcount by more than 10 percent.
Plans under the new ownership also include growing POLITICO’s footprint in the US and internationally through the introduction of new industry-focused products and services and by broadening the scope of coverage.
“We have always believed deeply in the digital journalism business model and POLITICO is a prime example of how to make it work,” Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, said. “They have a superior team with the highest quality standards and an impressive sense of how to convey their superior offerings in a digitized world.”
Similarly, Allbritton shared a positive note on the acquisition.
“Today marks the dawn of a new era of opportunity for everyone connected to POLITICO,” he said. “Axel Springer is the perfect owner to take our publications to the next level as we build on our excellence in Washington and Brussels.”
The completion of the acquisition comes shortly after the news of Axel Springer ousting the editor of Europe’s largest newspaper, Bild, after misconduct charges.
The publishing group accused editor Julian Reichelt of continuing to mix his “private and professional affairs” and giving false statements to the publisher’s board.