Economia Sells Respekt Weekly to Respekt Media: A Shift in Czech Media Landscape

In a significant development within the Czech media landscape, Economia, the prominent publisher, has divested the iconic Respekt weekly to Respekt Media. This new entity is a consortium consisting of Dennik N, Independent Press, Aegis Holding, and the magazine’s editorial team. The transaction was announced through a joint press release by Economia and Respekt Media, with financial details to remain confidential as part of the agreement.

The sale of Respekt Weekly, a renowned publication with a long history, marks a pivotal moment in Czech journalism. The acquisition of the magazine by Respekt Media is expected to have a far-reaching impact on the country’s media landscape.

Respekt Weekly, founded in 1989 and owned by Economia for nearly a decade, has played a pivotal role in shedding light on political developments and exposing incompetence, hypocrisy, and corruption within Czech society. Billionaire investor Zdenek Bakala, owner of Economia, praised the magazine’s investigative approach and its role in shaping public discourse.

Respekt’s editor-in-chief, Erik Tabery, expressed optimism about the magazine’s future under its new ownership. He emphasized that the editorial staff’s involvement in Respekt Media ensures that their primary commitment remains quality journalism. This transition is expected to enable the magazine to respond more swiftly to the evolving challenges faced by independent media outlets.

One notable change for readers is an increase in the price of Respekt Weekly, which is set to take effect next week. The price will rise by 10 Czech crowns to 60 crowns, a move Tabery attributed to rising operational costs. Despite this price adjustment, Respekt’s readership is expected to continue its steady growth.

The ownership structure of Respekt Media is equally noteworthy. The consortium comprises three key media investors, each holding a quarter of the total share capital of 2 million Czech crowns. These investors are Slovak Dennik N, the majority owner of the Czech Denik N daily; Independent Press; and Aegis Holding, affiliated with the Kaligram publishing house in Bratislava. The remaining 25% of shares are distributed among three dozen editors and employees of Respekt, led by Tabery.

Respekt Weekly boasts a readership of 187,000 per issue and a circulation of approximately 32,000 copies sold, according to the most recent data from the Publishers’ Union. Its transition to Respekt Media is anticipated to open a new chapter in the publication’s storied history, preserving its legacy of investigative journalism while adapting to the ever-evolving media landscape.

Article by Prague Forum

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