September 9, 2014

Politico will partner with the German company Axel Springer to launch a European edition, CEO Jim VandeHei tells staffers in an email. Promising more details in coming weeks, VandeHei writes, “We can tell you this is a 50-50 joint venture with Axel Springer and will cover not just Brussels but European politics and policy more broadly.”

Springer publishes the German newspaper Bild. Its CEO, Mathias Doepfner, reportedly told managers that “core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1 billion euros was ‘absolutely possible,'” Reuters reports.

Michael Calderone reported Monday that Financial Times journalist Peter Spiegel had declined to lead the effort.


From: Jim VandeHei
Sent: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 12:44 PM
To: TP-Staff
Subject: Important News…

It looks like the secret is officially out: We are joining forces with Axel Springer, Europe’s largest and most powerful media company, to start a European edition of POLITICO.

This is the start of a very important project for us, and we will have many details to share in the weeks ahead.

We can tell you this is a 50-50 joint venture with Axel Springer and will cover not just Brussels but European politics and policy more broadly. There is a lot more to this new venture, and we will keep you in the loop as this proceeds.

This partnership is aimed at exploring journalistic opportunities in Europe and is being set up as a stand-alone enterprise.

Axel Springer is a highly impressive, highly ambitious company that shares our obsession with building media companies that produce and can sustain nonpartisan journalistic excellence. They do about $3.6 billion in annual revenue and house a number of digital start-ups in their Berlin-based offices. We are excited to join forces with them.

This represents Robert Allbritton’s first big move since selling the TV stations and he is extremely excited about this next phase of our growth.

A statement about the joint venture is below.


Jim and John


Axel Springer SE, one of the leading European digital publishers, and POLITICO, the dominant Washington, D.C., political news publication, have joined forces to launch a European edition of POLITICO, a new digital political media offering that will offer in-depth coverage of European politics and policy.

Both Axel Springer and POLITICO have signed an agreement for a 50/50 joint venture. The new media company will be headquartered in Brussels. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

About Axel Springer
Axel Springer SE was founded in 1946 by Axel Springer and wants to become the leading digital publisher. Headquartered in Berlin, the company is active in more than 40 countries with subsidiaries, joint ventures, and licenses. The company is divided into three operating segments: paid models, marketing models and classified ad models. In 2013 it achieved an EBITDA of EUR 454.3 million. In the first half of 2014, more than half of Group revenues were generated by digital activities, their share of EBITDA amounted to nearly two-thirds of Group EBITDA.

POLITICO is a nonpartisan, Washington-based political news organization founded in 2007 by Publisher Robert Allbritton, President & CEO Jim VandeHei and Editor-in-Chief John F. Harris. It serves as the one-stop shop for the fastest, most in-depth coverage of the White House, Congress, politics and policy. POLITICO breaks news through its digital products, which reach 7 million unique visitors a month. POLITICO also drives the conversation through its Washington newspaper, POLITICO Magazine, POLITICO Events and POLITICO Pro, its subscription-based policy news service.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

More News

Back to News