Digital transformation is a focus as ever-expanding European media group Mediahuis takes control of another German media group Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft and commissions new systems technology.
Mediahuis will also become the main shareholder of subsidiary Medienhaus Aachen, which publishes Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten.
Technology-wise, Belgian-headquartered Mediahuis has been increasing its reader focus with new content management software, which chief digital officer Peter Soetens says will prioritise engagement over circulation.
A publishing suite has been created called The Hub – a collection of services “tailored and used by all news brands to create, publish and monetise content” – based on Stibo DX’s CUE platform.
Mediahuis plans to evolve further in Europe, adding to acquisitions which already covered Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg.
The company says its entry at Medienhaus Aachen will accelerate its digital transformation project and further strengthen its independent regional journalism.
Mediahuis chief executive Gert Ysebaert says the company “believes unconditionally in the power of strong and independent journalism.
“The knowledge and expertise of both parties, combined with the synergies Mediahuis can offer as a group, will further strengthen the media brands of Medienhaus Aachen within the current digital context.”
Common technology standards and best practices will make sharing assets across the group’s 30 brands simpler, meeting the target of “brands that readers can depend on”.
Formed in 2014 through a joint venture of Flemish media corporations Corelio and Concentra, Mediahuis’ news titles reach more than 10 million readers each day. It has about 4,300 employees and an annual turnover of more than €1 billion. News titles include De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad/De Gentenaar, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg in Belgium, NRC, De Telegraaf, Noordhollands Dagblad, De Limburger and Dagblad van het Noorden in the Netherlands, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and Belfast Telegraph in Ireland and Luxemburger Wort in Luxembourg.
The remaining 30 per cent of Medienhaus Aachen is held by Aachener Nachrichten Verlagsgesellschaft, a subsidiary of Rheinische Post Mediengruppe.