POLITICO acquires European Voice, details Europe venture
POLITICO Europe will debut in the spring of 2015 with a staff of roughly 70 and one of its would-be competitors out of the picture.
The Beltway news organization is launching POLITICO Europe in a joint venture with the German media giant Axel Springer, as previously reported; but today the two have announced the venture's acquisition of European Voice, a weekly newspaper and website covering European Union news and policy out of Brussels, where the E.U. is based. The sale price was not disclosed.
The newsroom of more than 30 will be led by Matthew Kaminski. He will leave his post as a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board to become POLITICO Europe's executive editor. European Voice will cease to exist in early 2015.
The new publication, with a mission of "covering the politics, policies and personalities in the EU and the continent's most powerful nations," according to POLITICO C.E.O. Jim VandeHei, will take the flagship's model of high-volume politics and policy news and tailor it to a European audience through a combination of free digital content, a subscriber service and an advertiser-supported print edition. POLITICO Europe also will come with its own, E.U.-centric version of chief White House correspondent Mike Allen's popular morning email tip-sheet, Playbook.
By absorbing European Voice, which was founded in 1995 by The Economist Group to provide "independent insight into the Brussels beltway," POLITICO Europe enters the market with an established audience and business base, while eliminating a rival.
"This purchase provides us instant talent and presence in Brussels ─ and an attractive subscriber base in the EU Parliament," VandeHei told staff Wednesday morning in an internal memo. "As I explained earlier, our European operation has the same ambitions as all of us here: dominate coverage of our core areas and build a durable and profitable business to sustain great, nonpartisan journalism."
The acquisition comes as POLITICO, which was founded in 2007, has been broadening its influence outside of its core audience of Washington insiders and U.S. political junkies. Last September, its owner, Robert Allbritton, got a foothold in New York by acquiring Capital before completing the sale of his local television stations to Sinclair Broadcast Group for nearly $1 billion. The European joint venture was announced this September and is reportedly valued at roughly $10 million.
In addition to European Voice, POLITICO has purchased the Paris-based events business Dii, "which will allow us to rapidly expand our fast-growing live conferences and events efforts globally," wrote VandeHei, who jointly serves as Capital's C.E.O., in his memo.
European Voice managing director Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson, who founded Dii in 1993 at the age of 23 and last year acquired European Voice from The Economist Group, will hold the same title at POLITICO Europe.
POLITICO editor in chief John Harris tacks on the title of joint chairman of the venture's editorial committee and "will be a regular presence in Brussels, overseeing the editorial vision and execution," said VandeHei, noting that several other POLITICO figures will be joining as well, including editor at large Bill Nichols and senior White House reporter Carrie Budoff Brown.
It's unclear whether any or all of European Voice's newsroom will remain on board, but VandeHei said POLITICO Europe is "about to go on a hiring spree."