Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
MILAN

Cairo says will hold La7's editorial line

English
© ANSA

Milan, March 8 - The new owner of Italy's seventh
terrestrial channel La7 said Friday he would hold to its
independent and left-leaning editorial line.
Media and advertising entrepreneur and Torino soccer club
boss Urbano Cairo, who bought La7 from Telecom Italia's media
unit Ti Media Monday said the channel's "freedom of expression
must be defended".
"I see a clear editorial line at La7, the present one,
which I share," said the head of Cairo Communications, which
owns the Giorgio Mondadori publishing group as well as
advertising rights for a slew of Italian magazines.
Cairo is a former protege' of media magnate and ex-premier
Silvio Berlusconi and his takeover of La7 had raised concerns
over pluralism in TV, the medium where an estimated 90% of
Italians get their news.
After fears voiced by centre-left politicians in the run-up
to the recent elections, Cairo pledged that La7's editorial
line would not change.
"I am not going to give away the best players, those that
increase viewing numbers and give us visibility on the market,"
he said in the run-up to February 24-25 elections, when the sale
became a talking point.
On Monday, after the takeover news, he said: "I've got
hold of a real hot potato".
Cairo has previously stated he has no intention of
following in the footsteps of Berlusconi, who in the past has
allegedly used his political and economic clout to purge his
three private Mediaset channels and state broadcaster RAI of
journalists critical of his government and policies.
Several subsequently migrated to La7.
Cairo, 55, was given his start in business by Berlusconi
and subsequently set up his own media and advertising group,
before emulating Berlusconi, who owns AC Milan, by buying Serie
A outfit Torino.
La7, which has been a drain on Telecom Italia, is
considered one of the last independent broadcasters with a
national reach.
Cairo, who shelled out one million euros for La7, said
Friday he had not thought about how he would cut costs at La7,
which lost one billion euros in the last 10 years but boosted
its share in the last three years after attracting top
journalists like former Berlusconi anchor man Enrico Mentana.
Cairo, who said none of the channel's 470 jobs were
currently at risk, added that he would have a new business plan
ready "by June".

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