A few minutes ago, the bad news came from Athens:
“Eleftheros Tipos Newspaper and City Radio will suspend their function, an official announcement said today.
During the General Meeting of the Shareholders΄ held on 19 June, it was unanimously decided to place the companies in liquidation.
The announcement also states that big funds were invested in the two companies, but the fact that they were always in the red plus the news model that prevails in Greece led to this decision.
Theodoros and Gianna Angelopoulous, that bought the newspaper 3 years ago, will walk out of the media business.”
As all of you know, INNOVATION created the new paper’s editorial and graphic model, and with Saf Fahim in New York, we designed one of the most fantastic multimedia newsrooms in the world.
But like any Greek tragedy, our professional efforts were not enough for a newspaper market where politics, politicians and politically engaged publishers, editors and journalists rule.
We were told that the new paper would be an independent one.
The editorial and graphic model become an instant icon of modernity and won many European and World design awards.
Surveys told us that young readers, female readers and advertisers, loved the ET2 section (second part of the paper), which included lifestyle and consumer news and stories.
But the front of the paper was always heavy and boring with plenty of commodity political news.
The paper had too many editors, including Lambros Smailis, our trusted friend during long working months, who resigned within just a few days of the launching.
Lambros was right: the paper was not going to break the traditional Greek political news model.
He and other brave editors and reporters couldn’t cope with the constant interference of two journalistically ignorant and incompetent political advisers that misguided the new publisher.
So, after investing millions of euros, the paper is gone.
It’s hard to believe that so much money could have been invested and managed so badly.
We said from the beginning that ET should not become a political project but a journalistic project with independence and credibility. This advice fell on deaf ears. We pushed and pushed for a credible brand of quality journalism but the inertia of politically motivated editors led to the demise of a great brand with a great concept and brilliant design.
That said, Greece stills needs an independent and professionally run modern newspaper.
Today more than ever!
ET was launched with this mission, but ended like the old newspapers in this country: with no credibility, no readers, no advertisers, and no money.
As you can imagine, we and many of our friends from ET are very, very sad.
And be sure: this is not another casualty of the so-called newspaper crisis.
If there is a market that needs a good, professional, profitable and independent newspaper, Athens is it.
UPDATE: The Athens Union of Journalists (ESIEA) on Monday called a 24-hour strike beginning at 5:00 p.m. the same day until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, in protest of the closure of newspapers. No news will be disseminated by ANA-MPA for the duration of the strike. News from ANA-MPA will be discontinued at 5:00 p.m. on Monday and will resume at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday