MEDIA franchise Politico is to be sold to Axel Springer, a German news conglomerate, for more than $1 billion, CNN reported on August 26.
Politico, known originally as The Politico, is a political journalism company based in Arlington County, Virginia, United States, that covers politics and policy in the US and internationally. It distributes content primarily through its website but also printed newspapers, radio, and podcasts.
According to the report by CNN Business, Politico’s tech news arm Protocol is also included in the $1 billion deal, which was announced early on August 26.
Axel Springer and Politico already work together on a joint venture in Europe and building on that connection, the two sides started to talk about a deal earlier in the year.
The CNN further reported that Politico said it employed more than 500 journalists spread across its operations in North America, a joint venture in Europe, and Protocol, the tech news arm.
Explaining the decision to sell the media franchise, Politico’s current owner Robert Allbritton said: “It became steadily more clear that the responsibility to grow the business on a global scale, to better serve the audience and create more opportunities for our employees, might be better advanced by a larger company with a significant global footprint and ambitions than it could be by me as owner of a family business.”
The CNN further reported that Allbritton would remain publisher of Politico and Protocol.
Also, the editorial and management leadership teams of Politico in the US, Politico Europe and Protocol would remain in place, Axel Springer explained.
They will operate separately from Axel Springer’s other media brands like Insider and Morning Brew.
The billion-dollar sales figure, confirmed by a person involved with the deal, is the latest sign of a frothy marketplace for digital content, according to CNN.
Another digital-based news website, The Hill, was recently sold to Nexstar Media Group.
It is expected that the $1 billion Politico deal would take effect by the end of 2021.