Why Thorbjörn Larsson was a good choice

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Good Old Trend

I’ll have to return to the subject of Citykollen.se tomorrow. Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, DN, got their new Editor in Chief today – Thorbjörn Larsson. For those of you not to familiar with Swedish media it is suffice to say that he is a giant in the business. He was onboard ship when Aftonbladet passed Expressen as the most popular tabloid and is a member of the board of many large media companies. Those of you fluent in Swedish will find a good career summary over at Martin Jönsson and the competing newspaper SvD.

His analysis on the other hand is somewhat lacking in my opinion. The arguments for his return to editorial duty seem to be focused on him being a strong leader with a lot of publishing experience. That is of course true, but the most interesting factor here must be that Bonnier Newspapers have four Editors in Chief that actually get along and could work together. Larsson was Stockholm City’s chairman of the board and has started the paper together with Mikael Nestius. Otto Sjöberg is Larssons old protégé, and finally Peter Melin at Sydsvenskan was appointed by him.

In order to match Schibsted (that is rumoured to be releasing a free newspaper in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö very soon) some sort of co-operation will be necessary. This is not the current tradition of Bonnier in any way – their titles have always been independent and self steering. But matching both Metro and Schibsted one by one will be expensive. And newspapers in general aren’t doing very well financially at the moment, as we all know.

I think Thorbjörn Larsson was the obvious choice for DN, and one of the few that could take the job on as well. But the most interesting news must be that the chances of Bonnier Newspapers joining forces are better than ever. It probably won’t happen straight away, but there is definite potential. This autumn is going to be very interesting to follow.

Disclaimer: I work as a consultant for two Bonnier Newspapers – Sydsvenskan and Stockholm City. My work has nothing to do with these issues and the information above is based on my own thoughts concerning Swedish media, not internal gossip.

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