The Global Media Weekly for executives and entrepreneurs

New European to be…new?

The New European, a Europhile weekly launched after the UK’s seismic Brexit referendum in 2016, has been bought from regional news group Archant by a consortium. The 14 investors include Mark Thompson, former New York Times CEO and BBC director general, Lionel Barber, former FT editor, its founder Matt Kelly, former Archant CEO Jeff Henry, and media investor Gavin O’Reilly.

The involvement of Thompson and Barber caught media attention in the UK where the newspaper managed to sound as if it was a good deal more successful than it is. The New European is believed to have paid circulation of only 10k, total revenue of some £400k and to have been lossmaking. It was constantly hailed as a success by the stuttering newspaper group but its one-time “profits” are said to have been the result of not allocating overheads.

The consortium may relaunch the newspaper in a magazine format to compete with the UK political weeklies, the (left-wing) New Statesman and (right wing) The Spectator. It is believed that both Barber and Thompson will be regular contributors. It is naturally assumed that the former FT editor will be directly involved in the management of the weekly.

The ambition may be to turn The New European into a more general newsweekly, albeit one which remains strongly pro-European Union. But its future success will depend on the breadth and depth of its digital offering – and its ability to keep costs low enough to sustain a weekly that might only be able to sell, say, 50k at best in the medium-term. Competition will be tough.

The Spectator (published by the owners of Telegraph Media Group) has a circulation of 75k. The New Statesman (owned by Mike Danson, majority shareholder of GlobalData) has a circulation of under 40k but has been broadening its digital coverage to include business, technology, and the arts. Which is what The New European may also be planning.

The New European