Telegraaf Media Nederland acquires majority interest in WebRegio

Telegraaf Media Nederland strengthens its position in local and regional news.

Telegraaf Media Nederland, part of TMG (Telegraaf Media Groep) has acquired a 70% interest in WebRegio Media, publisher of, among others, the online news platform WebRegio.nl, effective 1 January 2008. With its seven regional Internet portals, WebRegio is a key online provider of news and information services in the Amsterdam, Groot Alkmaar, North and South Kennemerland, West Friesland, Waterland and Zaanstreek regions. Telegraaf Media Nederland’s participation in WebRegio provides both companies with excellent opportunities for innovation and growth. WebRegio employs 25 persons in editing, marketing and sales. The cost of this acquisition will not be published.
Telegraaf Media Nederland has a strategy to link its media brand names in a logical way. It concerns thereby a hundred or so print titles, hundred Internet sites, video production houses and ‘out-of-home TV’ networks with the objective of optimally creating content for the consumer that will surprise and challenge, and create consumer loyalty. The interest in WebRegio fits into the company’s goal to become a market leader as a news source on four geografical levels: the world, the Netherlands, region and local. Analogous to the way in which the De Telegraaf newspaper and telegraaf.nl website combination provides worldwide and Netherlands-based news coverage, the WebRegio and the Telegraaf Media Nederland’s existing local and regional newspapers combination is intended to provide complete news coverage at the regional and local levels. The exchange of content is one of the synergietargets that the participating interest is intended to achieve.
WebRegio.nl provides consumers with news and information from a regional perspective. WebRegio’s sites and the Internet extensions of the Telegraaf Media Nederland’s regional and local newspapers will be transformed into a virtual network that will lead to significant visibility on the Internet. The neighbourhood journalistic platform, WUZ, recently introduced by the De Telegraaf, will also be linked to this network. Dutch residents can visit www.wuz.nl to submit news from their neighbourhood, opinions, photos and videos and thus create their own news content. 
Marianne Zwagerman, Director, Digital Media at Telegraaf Media Nederland calls WebRegio the most mature regional Internet initiative of its kind. “We thoroughly scanned the regional Internet market before formulating our plans. There are not many successful initiatives out there as yet. WebRegio is the only initiative that has managed to become large scale and that has achieved success in the SME (small and medium enterprises) advertising market. This is an important market for us that we serve with our regional and local newspapers, as well as on the Internet with brand names such as Speurders.nl, AutoTelegraaf.nl and Woonkrant.nl.”
Jelle Hoffenaar, Director and founder of WebRegio Media is happy to see that Telegraaf Media Nederland is WebRegio’s new shareholder. “Telegraaf Media Nederland is the largest media business in the Netherlands and has a good reputation in the areas of innovation and cross-media programming. Furthermore, the collaboration with Telegraaf Media Nederland’s various print and Internet titles guarantees more rapid growth for WebRegio. We are thinking of things such as a rollout to new regions, for example.”
Above is subject to the aproval of the Centrale Ondernemingsraad (central work council).