The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, January 17, 2005

Times-Metro saga - after race, it's sex!

[Earlier pieces January 15, January 15, January 11 and January 10.]

The Murdoch munchkin (or should that be, leprechaun) of Beantown, Pat Purcell, is excelling himself: on Saturday, his main rag, the Boston Herald, ran an exposé of a louche Metro connection under hed Metro owner hawks porn-Times partner cashes in on European TV skin flicks.

It seems that Metro International is part-owned by the Modern Times Group, which also has a TV channel that has broadcast porn to Scandinavia [1].

Was this all the Herald's own work, or did it get help? From parties not a million miles from West 43rd Street, perhaps, appalled at the hi-jacking of senior management attention by this penny-ante deal. Have they signed a legally binding agreement yet? (The press release talked about closing before the end of January.)

  1. Metro International was originally owned by Investment AK Kinnevik, but was distributed to Kinnevik shareholders with most of Kinnevik's assets in 1997. My source for my January 10 piece was therefore a tad out of date!

    According to MTG's 2003 accounts (3MB PDF) on p60a, MTG now owns only 28.4% of MI's shares - the balance (p13a) were apparently distributed to MTG shareholders in August 2000.


To judge from comments reported by the Herald from Richard Gilman, publisher of the Globe, the oppo may be coming from closer to the action. Gilman actually wrote in a memo to staff (no doubt in strict confidence!) that
Metro International still must prove itself

Sulzberger-approved or solo effort?


Dan Kennedy toys with the anti-trust numbers; defining the market is evidently tricky (do you include Pat Purcell's shoppers and weeklies, for instance?).

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