Monday, May 05, 2008

BPN 1089 Volkskrant wants to partner Het Gesprek

Talk television station Het Gesprek (The Conversation) is in exclusive talks with the PCM morning newspaper De Volkskrant. De Volkskrant wants to partner Het Gesprek, but Het Gesprek wants only to welcome De Volkskrant, when it brings along a lot of money. The talks should deliver by summer 2008.

Het Gesprek started in October 2007 as a talk television station, of which the broadcasts are distributed by internet and cable. The station has made a toilsome start in attracting an audience. In the viewing figures of the Dutch television stations, Het Gesprek did not show at all. The talk station can presently be received in almost the whole of The Netherlands in analogue and digital modes. A public broadcast station, KRO, started some co-operation, but the station needs more to be regularly viewed. This is where De Volkskrant comes in; the newspaper should push Het Gesprek with its progressive and intellectual audience, consisting of a large group of singles. Het Gesprek will be able to strengthen its position in the field of content of the programs and marketing.

In the stern wave of De Volkskrant follows the television producer Harry de Winter, who has been an advisor to De Volkskrant in setting up its own television channel, codenamed Oase. De Winter wants also to partake with his company WinterMedia.

The exploitation of Het Gesprek costs 4,5 million euro, according to one of the founding fathers, Ruud Hendriks. De Volkskrant will have to pay 3 million euro for a minority share. And this is a hefty amount within the conglomerate of PCM. Recently De Volkskrant adopted the daily free newspaper DAG and pays 7 million euro for that adventure. Now De Volkskrant wants to pay 3 million euro for a minority on top of that.

Within the holding PCM there is doubt about these financial investments, but De Volkskrant considers the investment in Het Gesprek as an impulse to its multimedia strategy. De Volkskrant has already invested a lot of money in its website and in a video staff, and it produces television programs together with the public broadcast stations VPRO and MAX. Besides the financial problems of De Volkskrant, PCM has to deal with other multimedia projects. Last week PCM stopped the citizens’ journalism site Skoeps and it has a dubious citizens’ journalism experiment going in

Blog Posting Number: 1089

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