Norway's three most profitable media companies are all online. If we look at printed papers the top ten performers are mostly local, interspersed with the odd regional paper.
Undercurrent reports that "an overview of the finances of Norwegian media companies pieced together by Dagens Medier confirms the trend toward online media outperforming print: In the top 10 list of most profitable companies in 2005 online occupies the top three and the number six spot. VG, the largest news site, has a profit margin of 42 per cent." Read the full post here.
"We don't even know who the editors are anymore. In a sense we are all editors," Espen Hansen, managing editor of Schibsted-owned VG, said in a recent talk about the rise of integrating online journalism, user-generated content, online ad campaigns and mobile video. If you want to know more about the thinking behind VG's news site, Julian Matthews has the transcript.
Local newspaper Fosna-Folket and Nordlys, a regional paper, are Norway's eight and ninth most profitable media companies with profit margins of 22 and 21,7 per cent. The nationals are neither among the top ten performing media companies, nor among the ten most profitable printed papers.
Looking at Dagens Medier's overview, it makes sense that regional newspaper Drammens Tidende (DT) recently decided to divide its operations in two and establish a separate company, Drammens Tidende Nye Medier [New Media], for its online, radio and TV operations. VG Multimedia, who runs the newspaper's online operation, may have a profit margin of staggering 42 per cent, but VG the national printed tabloid has a much more modest profit margin of 14 per cent (and has recently suffered a wave of redundancies).
Similarly, separating DT's printed paper and its electronic operations in two different companies would clarify where the revenues come from (so far its TV channel, for instance, has been a loss-making operation). With a 12,5 per cent profit margin in 2005, DT is one of the better performing newspapers in the Orkla Media portfolio (where the average profit margin in 7,5), but Hans Arne Odde, DT's editor-in-chief, has denied that the move to separate its operations has anything to do with making DT more attractive for its owner-in-waiting, David Montgomery.