If there is one thing that Dutch newspapers like writing about, it’s themselves, hence the widespread coverage given to the song and dance routine around the future of the PCM newspaper group.
PCM publishes the Volkskrant, NRC and Trouw newspapers and has a majority stake in the company that owns the AD. In other words, it controls four of the country’s five general national papers.
PCM is still licking its wounds from an ill-advised adventure with British venture capital group Apax which left it with rather a lot of debt. That, plus the downturn on the advertising market, means PCM is not exactly healthy in financial terms.
The group has rejected overtures from the Telegraaf group (owner of the fifth national newspaper) and is now in talks with a Belgian company called the Persgroep.
This is the same company which took over the Amsterdam paper Parool from PCM years ago because it was unprofitable.
Persgroep is not interested in acquiring the whole PCM stable and would sell off one one of its newspapers. The brave souls at the NRC are keen to be sold on (because they make a profit).
So who would be interested in the NRC? Step forward HAL, which just happens to own the Financieele Dagblad, Holland’s only financial newspaper.
Little wonder, then, that they are all so interested in each other’s activities. But what about the readers?
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