NHST Media Group, which owns Oslo-based business daily Dagens Næringsliv (DN) among other media ventures, announced Friday that it was buying a 49 percent stake in the resurgent weekly newspaper Morgenbladet, with an option to increase its stake to 90.1 percent by the end of 2016. Top DN editors will gain seats on Morgenbladet’s board of directors.
The two newspapers will now cooperate on ad sales, newspaper sales and developments in information technology. NHST will work with Morgenbladet’s current owners, the non-profit foundation Fritt Ord that promotes freedom of expression and Forlagskonsult.
“We’re impressed by the editorial quality and growth Morgenbladet has had for many years,” said Amund Djuve, editor-in-chief of DN. He called Morgenbladet “a unique newspaper” in a Norwegian perspective, “and we look forward to be able to contribute.”
The deal will involve a targeted issue of shares with NHST’s payment coming through the delivery of services for Morgenbladet, including digital development and sales.
Morgenbladet is Norway’s oldest newspaper still in publication, founded in 1819. It’s been through many transformations but recently has seen its circulation grow, by more than 20 percent over the past two years, at a time when most newspapers are losing readers. It’s viewed as rather high-brow, with an emphasis on academia, culture and politics, and in-depth articles on current issues.
“The paper has managed to engage an attractive, interesting and demanding group of readers with journalism that’s different from what we find in other Norwegian newspapers,” Djuve said. “We think that’s interesting.”