Week 34: Vîntu ready to sell his assets; Facebook at 1.65 million Romanian users

The Realitatea-Caţavencu media group is for sale, according to Evenimentul zilei. Romanian media are facing a deep crisis but the worst is yet to come. Facebook, growing rapidly to 2 million users in Romania. Media managers came amid a Rosia Montana controversy. A small company will launch a TV station for villagers. In “The moves of the week”: Robert Turcescu left Realitatea Catavencu.

Realitatea-Catavencu is for sale,Evenimentul zilei reported. According to the newspaper, Sorin Ovidiu Vîntu wants to sell everything but the Realitatea TV, the rolling news TV station. The buyers might be former co-shareholders of his companies, most of them journalists. Realitatea-Caţavencu’s officials confirmed the board discussed about possible externalization of the group’s assets, but added that Realitatea TV, Realitatea.net and Money.ro were not for sale.

Marius Hagger, the general manager of Ringier Romania, estimated the worst is yet come on the Romanian media market. He told Money.ro the media businesses in Romania would face a deep crisis until 2012. ‘I think the Romanian media will suffer more and more this autumn and 2011 will be worse; the ad and distribution revenues will fall even more in 2011’, Hagger said. Thus, Hagger added, some publications will not survive. Ringier emerge of the crisis less affected than other companies and is ready to operate as a joint-venture with Germany’s Axel Springer media group, in Eastern Europe, due to the merger announced several weeks ago.

With over 65,000 Romanians joining the network in July, Facebook has reached 1,65 million users in Romania, Dailybusiness.ro reported. It was a significant growth since March 2010, when FB had reached 1 million users in Romania. Facebook demographics: 53 per cent women; 1 mil. Facebook users are in the 18-30 age group; Bucharest has the largest FB community – 26,000 users. FB’s competitors in Romania are HI5 and Neogen.ro, a local network.

Editors-in-chief and journalists have found themselves amid a controversy after they accepted all-inclusive trip to New Zealand, paid by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC). According to Paginademedia.ro, among them there are Ioan T. Morar, Emil Hurezeanu (Realitatea Caţavencu), Vlad Macovei (Evenimentul zilei) and Floriana Jucan (Q Magazine). Media friendly RMGC, owned by Canadian company Gabriel Resources Inc. together with the Romanian state, is trying to get the authorities approval for putting a gold mine into production in Western Romania. The project is criticized because of the use of cyanide in the extraction process.

Investing during crisis: A new company will launch the niche TV station Agro Channel, Mediafax reported. The targeted audience is villagers, who represent a half of the population of Romania. The Agro Channel will be operated by the company Valtec Media Broadcasting SRL. The officials said the start-up costs are 100,000 Euros.

THE MOVES OF THE WEEK

  • Robert Turcescu, a famous talk-show host, left Realitatea-Catavencu (Hotnews.ro)
  • Razvan Ionescu, former editor-in-chief of Evenimentul zilei and Cotidianul, left Adevarul Holding, where his last position was a director at the online department (Paginademedia.ro)

PRESS REVIEW PROVIDED BY KMP TRANSLATIONS

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