The fact that newspaper company PCM lost €300m because of its takeover by private equity company Apax between 2004 and 2007 is ‘disgusting’, media minister Ronald Plasterk is quoted as saying by Friday’s Volkskrant.
‘And the fact there are still managers there who earned bonuses from this is inexplicable,’ Plasterk said. The Volkskrant, NRC and Trouw are all published by the PCM group.
On Monday, the company court published a highly critical report on the takeover, saying it had cost a lot of money, achieved little and almost bankrupted PCM.
Plasterk made the comments during a debate on calls for government support for newspapers, which are being hit by falling advertising income. They say the public broadcasters are competing unfairly with them by developing websites and magazines using taxpayers’ money.
Plasterk agreed to set up an €8m fund to stimulate journalistic innovation. ‘In 25 years time, the new generation might not read a printed paper over breakfast, but a laptop. That is not a bad thing. But journalistic professionalism must remain,’ the minister said.
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