Politico appears to have found its perfect owner:
Axel Springer SE plans to eventually put Politico’s content behind a paywall and immediately boost the political-news publisher’s head count by more than 10% once the German conglomerate’s $1 billion deal to buy the company closes, expected next week.
Axel Springer Chief Executive Mathias Döpfner said in an interview he expects to hire 100 people across the company’s management and editorial staff, which currently numbers 900 in the U.S. and Europe. He also laid out tentative plans for an international push—including intentions to publish in several different languages.
Mr. Döpfner said he plans to grow Politico’s footprint both in the U.S. and overseas by introducing new industry-focused products and services and by broadening the scope of coverage. He said he expects Politico’s main news offerings, now free, to go behind a paywall in the medium term.
He also said he expects Politico staffers to adhere to Axel Springer-wide guiding principles that have raised controversy at times at its German properties—though they won’t be required to sign a written commitment to the principles like employees in Germany. The principles include support for a united Europe, Israel’s right to exist and a free-market economy, among others.
“These values are like a constitution, they apply to every employee of our company,” Mr. Döpfner said. People with a fundamental problem with any of these principles “should not work for Axel Springer, very clearly,” he said.
Mr. Döpfner said he expects Politico and Axel Springer’s other U.S. titles will embody his vision of unbiased, nonpartisan reporting, versus activist journalism, which, he said, is enhancing societal polarization in the U.S. and elsewhere.
It’s not activist journalism if the publisher agrees with it!
Of course, much Politico content can’t be put behind a paywall soon enough. Take this snarky attack on Pete Buttegeig for taking paternity leave and the even more ridiculous attempts to defend it, please:
If POLITICO wrote “Buttigieg is taking paid leave to spend time with his newborn children” and people criticized you for it, I would defend you. But instead POLITICO wrote that Buttigieg was “MIA,” “lying low,” “absent.”
Your critics aren’t the ones whose knees are jerking. pic.twitter.com/eJeT3gkS55— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) October 15, 2021
Playbook just meant “MIA” in a strictly non-pejorative sense it has never been used in before. CHECKMATE LIBS!