Week 33: The impact of the crisis on media moguls

Sorin Ovidiu Vîntu is the Romanian media tycoon most affected by crisis. The number of  TV commercials has increased while prices dropped and some companies almost doubled their quantity of TV advertising. According to a trade union, almost 6000 journalists had been dismissed. Google Romania is still operating without a country manager.

The Romanian media moguls were hit strongly by the financial crisis: they decided to close or sell some of their publications, according to a Dailybusiness.ro feature, based on 2009 figures.

Apart from television losses, Adrian Sarbu’s “PRO empire” (PRO TV SA &Publimedia) had to face the print media’s decline. Some newspapers and magazines ceased publication; others stopped their print editions to go online. In the second half of 2010, Adrian Sarbu has started restructuring his media business. The economic daily Ziarul Financiar will introduce an internet paywall to the newspaper’s website.

The most affected media mogul seems to be Sorin Ovidiu Vîntu, who controls Realitatea-Cațavencu media group. The TV, print and new media divisions were affected by crisis. Vîntu sold or closed all his print  publications.

Dinu Patriciu, the owner of Adevarul Holding, is no.1 on the market of daily newspapers. The quality newspaper “Adevarul” has registered the best circulation and the best sales, while “Click” has the upper hand on the tabloids segment. Patriciu made a substantial investment in distribution of books and DVD’s, with newspapers; nevertheless his losses amounted to 25 million euros in 2009.

Dan Voiculescu (Intact) is less affected than the other media owners. His TV business announced a profit in 2009; the losses of the print division were smaller than the ones of the competition.

Romanian televisions broadcasted 3 million commercials in 2010, 27% more than the same period of last year, but at lower CPP’s, Adevarul reported. Companies like Orange, Vodafone and Kraft Foods nearly doubled their GRP’s. The main event that brought profit to stations was the South Africa FIFA World Cup: TVR, the public television, cashed in 2.4 million Euros.

A journalists’ trade union claims the number of those dismissed following the crisis rises to 6000, according to the economic daily Bursa. The journalists who have managed to keep their jobs are currently suffering from pay cut. They were particularly hit by a Government decision to increases taxes for those paid on copyright contracts.

An opposition MP sent to Parliament a draft law banning offensive language on the Internet, according to Mediafax. Lia Olguța Vasilescu, senator of the Social Democratic Party, asserts that through this project she aims at children’s protection. Furthermore she said the project gained the support of “a big number of MP’s”.

No manager yet for Google Romania., Ziarul financiar reported. There are two possible explanations: the market is too small and the good managers specialized in online are just a few. The head of Apropo Media, Orlando Nicoara, estimated that Google Romania made 3 million euros in 2009.


  • Jaap Willem Rotgans (manager at Rompetrol Holding) and Melanie Anne Chen, administrator of an energy company, have become members of the Board of Directors of Adevarul Holding. (wall-street.ro)
  • Orlando Nicoara takes over the sales of Mediafax (Dragos Stanca blog)
  • Jesper Simonsen appointed General Manager at Pagini Aurii (Financiarul)

Press review provided by KMP Translations

One thought on “Week 33: The impact of the crisis on media moguls”

  1. “Google Romania is still operating without a country manager.“
    Pai… e criza, un country manager se plateste cu bani grei. Au luat si ei exemplu de la guvern, care se micsoreaza. Si ce si-au zis: ia sa vedem daca merge de la sine ! Merge ? Pai…
    “ … estimated that Google Romania made 3 million euros in 2009. “


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