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  • 03/22/16--03:43: New Magazine Brands Acquired
  • Bonnier Magazines acquires nine brands from LRF Media.

    9 brands

    Bonnier Magazines announced it is acquiring nine brands within history, interior design & lifestyle and food & baking from LRF Media.

    Swedish magazine company Bonnier Tidskrifter will take over Lantliv (country living), Lantliv Mat & Vin (country living food & wine), Gods & Gårdar (country estates and manors), Allt om Vin (all about wine) and Hembakat (homebaked).

    “They complement our existing brands in each respective niche. It will be nice to add these businesses to Bonnier Tidskrifter to grow even further,” says Lars Dahmén, CEO for Bonnier Tidskrifter. “Hembakat has shown that you can quickly create a profitable magazine business as well as a strong digital brand.”

    The Nordic magazine company Bonnier Publications, with headquarters in Copenhagen, will take over Allt om Historia (all about history), Populär Historia (popular history), Militär Historia (military history) and Släkthistoria (family history), which have been a subsidiary of LRF Media based in Malmö in southern Sweden. Bonnier Publications is acquiring the entire subsidiary, which will continue to have its offices in Malmö.

    “The magazine publisher producing the history titles in Malmö will continue to be operated as a separate company,” says Jesper Buchvald, CEO for Bonnier Publications. “The brands fit well with our portfolio, and among other things, we see a big advantage that Allt om Historia will be published across the Nordic region, the same as many of our titles. We’re impressed with the way the company has succeeded in broadening and diversifying the history portfolio.”

    Employees in the affected companies were informed earlier today and the formal transition will be June 1, 2016.

     


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    Casten Almqvist: We’re harnessing the potential of all of Bonnier Broadcasting now.

    Bonnier Broadcasting

    A central organization built around content and technology – and an increased focus on the pay TV business. Those are the main features of the new organization that Bonnier Broadcasting is now announcing. A range of functions within TV4 and C More will be coordinated within a new parent company that supports the two business units commercial TV (TV4) and pay TV (C More).

    “We’re harnessing the potential of all of Bonnier Broadcasting now,” says Casten Almqvist, CEO for TV4 and the new parent company.

    Under the leadership of Casten Almqvist, Bonnier Broadcasting will become a parent company for the entire business area. Also, the business management will be streamlined for two of the business units – commercial TV (TV4) and pay TV (C More). Mathias Berg will take on the role of Chief Operating Officer for TV4 and Manfred Aronsson will continue as CEO for C More.

    ”This is a concentrated effort that puts content, technology and user experience in central focus for all we do,” says Almqvist. “To continue to increase our pace of development, to be flexible while taking advantage of our common strengths will be key now and in the future. We’re also putting even more emphasis on the importance of the pay TV business, which via C More’s subscription video-on-demand service (SVOD) will grow substantially in the coming years.”

    Approximately 300 people from TV4 and C More will move to the new parent company, which will also be strengthened with new roles and functions.

    The drama and acquisition departments of TV4 and C More were already combined previously. Now, TV4’s and C More’s sports production departments will be combined into a common and enlarged sports hub. First-rate creativity and journalistic excellence will build Sweden’s top sports desk. Together with the rest of the content department, technology and product development and a number of executive management positions – within finance, talent, legal, strategy and parts of communications and marketing – will become part of the new parent company. The task will be to strengthen all channels, services and products within the business area by supporting the pay TV and commercial TV business units.

    Casten Almqvist, who will continue as CEO for TV4, is building a new central business area executive team with representatives from business units as well as common functions. Along with Mathias Berg and Manfred Aronsson, the team will include Content Director Åsa Sjöberg, new Chief Technology Officer Henri Caddeo, Chief Financial Officer Eva-Lotta Malmfält, Communications and HR Director Åsa Jamal, new Director of Strategy Philip Lindqvist, General Counsel Ulrika Jensen and MTV’s CEO Jarkko Nordlund in Finland.

    Union negotiations began a week ago, and changes made according to the final agreement will be effective as of Sept. 1. The business area Broadcasting also includes Nyhetsbolaget, which as supplier to TV4 as well as others, will continue to maintain operational independence. Bonnier Broadcasting also includes MTV, Finland’s No. 1 commercial TV network and production company MediaHub, which are undertaking similar restructuring, which will be presented in detail later in the spring.

     


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  • 04/04/16--02:00: New Offices for Bonnier AB
  • Headquarters for the Bonnier group moves in Stockholm.

    Bonnier HQ new offices

    Today, the offices of Bonnier AB moved to a newly renovated building in the St. Eriksplan neighborhood in central Stockholm.

    The new address is Atlasmuren 1, directly behind the Bonnier Building and Bonniers Konsthall on Torsgatan. The Bonnier offices are on the top floor of the four-story building.

    Along with Bonnier AB and Bonnier Growth Media staff who moved from the previous Kungsgatan address near Hötorget, the new offices also include staff from Bonnier Financial Control and Bonnier Digital, who provide central support at the group level. 

     


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    Three new stores planned.

    Pocket Shop

    Paperback bookstore chain Pocket Shop, with headquarters in Stockholm and stores in Sweden, Finland and Germany, will be opening in the U.K.

    The chain has plans to open in three locations, with a first store expected to open by summer.

    “We are close to signing a contract on a first prime location with negotiations underway on two others,” says Anna Borné Minberger, CEO for Pocket Shop. “We’re excited to be moving into the U.K. market, which presents new challenges and significant opportunities for us. We believe the Pocket Shop concept in the right locations is a natural for the British market.” 

     


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  • 04/17/16--04:55: Jeanette Bonnier
  • One of Bonnier's most devoted owners and personalities has died.

    Jeanette Bonnier (photo: Peter Jönsson)

    Our beloved Jeanette has left us. She was Bonnier's single biggest shareholder and for many years was a member of the board for Expressen, Dagens Nyheter, Svensk Filmindustri and Bonnier AB, among others.

    Apart from her formal mandate as a board member and shareholder, Jeanette Bonnier had for many years an incredibly strong position among the owners by virtue of her dedication, her insight into the business and her brilliant intensity. She was appreciated, respected and loved, and no doubt, sometimes feared. When I received an e-mail from Jeanette, it was always written in capital letters. But she didn't just write that way, she SPOKE in capital letters. And it had an impact. Jeanette had an influence on shareholder decisions that often went beyond her substantial stake in the company.

    Jeanette's influence even beyond the shareholders can be seen in editorials today in Dagens Nyheter and Expressen (which has replaced its usual blue frame around the paper with a black frame of mourning). Even if she was widely involved in Bonnier's business, it's true that Expressen held a special place in her heart. "She loved Expressen unconditionally, while she respected Dagens Nyheter," wrote Peter Wolodarski, editor-in-chief for Dagens Nyheter. When she spoke openly about her life in the profile interview TV program Min sanning (my truth), viewers responded with a stream of overwhelmingly positive reactions.

    A lasting legacy that Jeanette leaves behind is the art museum Bonniers Konsthall. That her legacy will now be used through a foundation for the benefit of art and in support of free speech seems appropriate and logical. The foundation will strengthen the same values that she fought for her whole life.

    I will miss her deeply.

     

    Carl-Johan Bonnier
    Chairman of the Board, Bonnier AB 

     


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    Success story Toca Boca, which in five years has gone from idea to 140 million downloads of its digital toys, is getting a new owner. The buyer is Canadian toy and entertainment company Spin Master. 

    Toca Boca started five years ago as a project out of Bonnier’s headquarters in Stockholm. Björn Jeffery and Emil Ovemar, part of Bonnier’s R&D department at the time, came up with the concept of making digital toys for the smartphone generation.

    Based on the idea of always taking a child’s perspective and developing products for an international market, Toca Boca has grown into a top global brand for kids. Toca Boca, which is part of the Growth Media business area of Bonnier, gets more than 60 percent of its revenues from North America today. From its core business in digital toys, Toca Boca’s ambition is to grow by broadening its brand in video and physical products.

    “Toca Boca’s start and subsequent development, with 140 million downloads over the past five years, is a success story for Bonnier Growth Media,” says Ulrika Saxon, CEO for Bonnier Growth Media. “Björn, Emil and the rest of the team at Toca Boca have gained huge trust from both children and parents by focusing on quality, playfulness and gender-neutrality. As an owner, we’re proud to have contributed to a brilliant start-up developed within the framework of a 200-year-old media company. With Toca Boca ready for the next step, it’s the right business choice for Bonnier to hand over the reins to a new owner with a base where Toca Boca can grow, both in terms of products and geography.”

    Toca Boca is being acquired by Spin Master, a global children’s toy and entertainment company with 950 employees, headquartered in Toronto, and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:TOY). In 2015, Spin Master generated over US$1 bn in total sales from toys and the licensing of TV series.

    "Since the founding of Toca Boca, it’s been a privilege to have the full backing and support of Bonnier whose values in entrepreneurship and freedom have allowed us to flourish and succeed,” says Björn Jeffery, CEO for Toca Boca. “We now look forward to joining strengths with Spin Master, an innovative leader in toys and entertainment, to further broaden the Toca Boca and Sago Mini brands in new areas for kids worldwide.”

    Ulrika Saxon concludes: “It is with some sadness that we sell Toca Boca, but we’re convinced it’s the right timing for both Bonnier and Toca Boca. We’re proud of what we’ve done and of the value we’ve created together. The sale will give us resources that can be invested in new digital products and services from Bonnier.”

    The companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The deal will be completed at the beginning of May.

     

     


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  • 05/03/16--02:58: World Press Freedom Day
  • Celebrating, safeguarding and advocating for free speech and a free press. 

    World Press Freedom Day logo

    Today, we celebrate World Press Freedom Day. For Bonnier, freedom of speech is a core value, of which a free press is key: "Our commitment to freedom of speech means a strong belief in a pluralistic media landscape... [and] Relentless support for journalists and individuals who fight for freedom of speech throughout the world."

    The news organizations of many of Bonnier's companies are marking the day in print, on websites and in social media. Here are a few of the ways:

    ● Read an op-ed on the importance of net neutrality to a free press published widely in Sweden today, signed by Sweden's top media executives, including from Bonnier, TV4's Casten Almqvist, Expressen's Tomas Mattsson and Sydsvenskan's Pia Rehnqvist (in Swedish).

    ● Read author and journalist Tomas Lappalainen's opinion piece on free speech and press in Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish).

    ● Read the latest blog posts of Expressen's Editor-in-Chief Thomas Mattsson, on freedom of the press and the 250th anniversary of Sweden's free press decree (in Swedish).

     


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    Swedish TV and film production company's new direction includes a new name.

    SF Studios logo

    Svensk Filmindustri is re-branding itself as SF Studios

    Founded in 1919 and making it one of the oldest movie companies in the world, since then Svensk Filmindustri - now SF Studios - has built up a library of movie rights with over 1,800 Nordic titles. In addition to its own production and distribution, SF Studios is also a major distributor of foreign films in the Nordic market.

    Since becoming part of Bonnier Growth Media in 2012, SF Studios has focused on restructuring its operations to market demands, the new digital reality and opportunities beyond the Nordic borders with intiatives such as the launch of video-on-demand service SF Kids.

    "Rebranding Svensk Filmindustri to SF Studios is more than just cosmetic," says Jonas Fors, CEO of SF Studios. "Svensk Filmindustri is a complicated name to communicate outside the Nordics. In the U.S. and Europe the industry simply calls us 'Svensk,' which just means 'Swedish.' We are in fact a Nordic company with affiliates in Norway, Denmark and Finland. SF Studios reflects more of who we are, and is more important as we internationalize as a company."

    At present, SF Studios has a number of productions in the pipeline, both in the Nordics and internationally.

    In Sweden, preparations are underway for a much anticipated remake of the classic novel The Emigrants, directed by Daniél Espinosa.

    In addition, a number of features from the other Nordic countries are in post-production: In Norway, Børning 2 – On Ice, the sequel to the 2014 box-office hit Børning; in Finland, the feature The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, a true story about the first Finn, Olli Mäki, to fight for a world boxing title (the film is participating in the Un Certain Regard competition section in Cannes); and in Denmark, the World War II drama Across the Waters.

    On top of this, SF Studios has acquired the original spec script Horizon Line written by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken, to be directed by Babak Najafi. The film, a suspense thriller, follows a couple on a small airplane that loses its way over the Pacific Ocean.The film is set to go into production in the fall of 2016 and will soon start casting. Fredrik Wikström Nicastro will be producer for SF Studios and CEO Jonas Fors will be executive producer.

     


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  • 05/05/16--15:52: Charlotte Bonnier Has Died
  • She was the sister of Jeanette Bonnier, who died last month.

    Sisters Jeanette and Charlotte Bonnier (photo Roger Vikström/TT Bild)

    Charlotte Bonnier died yesterday, Wednesday, at the age of 83.

    With her straightforwardness, personal charm and brilliance, Lotta hit home everywhere, in Dalsland where she long had lived, as well as in Stockholm or New York. She created exciting, fun and beautiful environments that were a great pleasure to be a part of.

    Lotta was her father's, Albert Bonnier Jr.'s, daughter. Nothing could stop her, she had an unyielding belief in and enthusiasm for everything she undertook, not least for our family. She had a marked feeling for the family and was a true keeper of traditions for us. I dare say that we would not have been the same family without Lotta, so ultimately, she has also been important for the companies we own.

    Finally Lotta was also her sister's sister. With Lotta and Jeanette leaving us in such short succession, they oviously have left a big void. But Lotta and Jeanette leave us with a wealth of powerful and joyful memories, the kind that only truly great personalities leave behind.

    Carl-Johan Bonnier
    Chairman of the Board, Bonnier AB

     


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  • 05/09/16--07:21: BookBeat Launches Big
  • BookBeat, the digital book service from Bonnier Books, is ramping up with a big campaign in Sweden and a launch in neighboring Finland. We talked with BookBeat CEO Niclas Sandin about the startup and what’s in store.

    Niclas Sandin (photo: Peter Jönsson)

    How have things gone so far following your beta launch last fall?
    The early days for us were all about experimenting and learning new customer behaviors then developing out of that. Both in terms of improving the service but also in how we choose to market it to different kind of customers. Since we came out with it at the end of 2015 and in February opened the service to everyone, we’ve gotten several thousand users with a large part of them using BookBeat every day. That’s the best testimonial for how it’s gone: We’ve become part of people’s everyday life. So now we’re ready to take the next step and start with a broad launch.

    What do customers get with BookBeat?
    Thousands of books for all tastes, from new releases to classics. Always at your fingertips, never more than a click away. That’s something that should appeal to most people. For those who are curious, we of course offer a free trial, so you can get your own feeling for the service and the books available.

    Tell us about the broad launch.
    The focus will be on showing our great content and context- appropriate messages as we start becoming visible everywhere, in everything from TV ads, outdoor and subway advertising and above all, in digital marketing. We aim to answer the customer’s questions: “Do you have a book that I would like to listen to, and how we make it easy to do that as part of my everyday life?” We’ll be talking less about BookBeat itself and more about what we actually offer.

    What about the launch in Finland?
    Just as we did in Sweden, we’re taking the Finnish launch in stages. But we’re aiming to quicken the pace already during the summer once we’ve learned more about how customers perceive us as a service and how we can market ourselves in the best way. Finland is still a developing market in this area, and we want to be the leader from the get-go and drive development of the market.

     


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    Non-fiction book publisher joins the Bonnier Publishing stable in the U.K.

    Bonnier Publishing has announced it has acquired commercial non-fiction publisher, John Blake Publishing.

    Founded in 1991 by former journalist John Blake, the book publisher specializes in high profile, mass-market non-fiction. Bestselling titles include Being Jordan by Katie Price, Not Quite a Geordie by Geordie Shore star Holly Hagan and The Breaking Bad Cookbook by Chris Mitchell.

    John Blake Books published 110 titles in 2015, with an annual turnover of GBP 2.2 million.

    The company will become part of Bonnier Publishing’s Kings Road Publishing division, led by CEO Perminder Mann. The non-fiction publisher will remain at its current location in Fulham, with Blake staying on in his current role and reporting to Mann.

    The acquisition takes place with immediate effect and there are no planned changes to the number of staff.

     


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  • 05/10/16--08:01: Yourlife Books to Launch
  • Forum book publishers will start new imprint with Carina Nunstedt, founder of Books & Dreams and Mama magazine.

    Yourlife Books logo

    Swedish book publisher Forum has announced it will be starting a new personal imprint with Carina Nunstedt at the helm. The niche imprint will focus on personal non-fiction, from hand-picked life histories to self-help books within popular psychology, life philosophy, inner health, career development, creativity and more.

    "This is a way for Forum to broaden its non-fiction catalog in an area where we see a lot of readers," says Adam Dahlin, publishing head at Forum.

    The new imprint will feature work from with Swedish and international authors. The first authors will be announced in the fall, with the first books released in 2017.

    Carina Nunstedt is a journalist and has started up several magazines in Sweden, including Mama and Family Living. For the past four she has been running the Books & Dreams event series and magazine. She is also the founder and head of the Crimetime Gotland crime novel festival. In 2015, she came out with a book on happiness together with Swedish TV host Ernst Kirschsteiger.

    "I'm very much looking forward to developing this new publishing arm together with Forum, where I've had the benefit of being an author," says Nunstedt. "Taking the step of being a publisher is something I've long wanted. The ambition is to publish books that are timely, that get people to think about and discover themselves. Books that show new sides of both authors and for the readers."

    Nunstedt will start in September as publisher for Yourlife Books and will continue as festival manager for Crimetime Gotland and eidtor-in-chief for Books & Dreams events and magazine.

     


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    The nominating committee for the Bonnier AB Board of Directors has proposed Jens Müffelmann of Axel Springer as a new member of the board. He is CEO for Axel Springer Digital Ventures and head of Axel Springer’s U.S. operations.

    Jens Müffelmann

    “With his experience during Axel Springer’s transformation from a traditional daily newspaper company as well as from a number of successful digital acquisitions and investments, Jens Müffelmann is a very valuable addition to Bonnier AB’s board,” says Erik Haegerstrand, chair of the nominating committee and CEO for Bonnier Holding.

    Over the past 15 years, Jens Müffelmann has been a key person to Axel Springer’s efforts in developing from its historic base primarily in daily newspapers and magazines to one of Europe’s leading players in digital media. The company’s U.S. operations, which Jens Müffelmann oversees, include business news site Business Insider, with a new Nordic edition that is produced by Bonnier Business Media, and investments in NowThis, Mic, Thrillist, Airbnb, among others.

    “Jens Müffelmann along with last year’s new board members, Peder Bonnier and Kerstin Mogull, provide the board with significant digital knowledge and experience, that will strengthen Bonnier’s continued transformation,” says Erik Haegerstrand.

    He replaces Pontus Bonnier, who has declined another term after many years of service on the board, but remains a board member for Bonnier Holding, parent company of Bonnier AB.

     

    About Jens Müffelmann
    Jens Müffelmann has worked at Axel Springer since 1997 in a number of positions, including as Director of Strategy and Head of Electronic Media with responsibility for the formation of the digital portfolio. In 2014, he was appointed CEO for Axel Spring Digital Ventures, and from January 2016, he has also been in charge of the company’s U.S. operations. He has a PhD in organizational science from the University of the German Federal Armed Forces Hamburg based on a research project with Columbia University in New York, and an MBA from Fordham University as well as an engineering degree from the Technical University of Berlin.

    With a Swedish mother and having served in the Swedish Army, Jens Müffelmann also has a very personal connection to Sweden.

     


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    To take over business area Bonnier News.

    Anders Eriksson

    Anders Eriksson has been proposed as new business area head for Bonnier News, as well as CEO for Swedish dailies Dagens Nyheter and Expressen and business daily Dagens industri, as well as board chair for southern Swedish newspaper group HD–Sydsvenskan. Anders Eriksson is already part of Bonnier AB’s executive management team and is business area head for Business to Business, which consists of business media and services in the Nordic region, Eastern Europe and Germany.

    Under Anders Eriksson’s leadership, the business area Business to Business went from a period of sharply declining revenues and losses related to the financial crisis, to strong growth and profitability. During this time, revenues shifted from 90 percent coming from print, to nearly all revenues coming from new, primarily digital sources. Prior to his start at Bonnier in 2009, he worked with digital businesses, including as European head for Razorfish.

    Anders Eriksson will take over as business area head for Bonnier News on June 20. He succeeds Gunilla Herlitz, whose departure was announced in February.

    “Year after year, Anders has met or exceeded budgets, and the businesses he’s been responsible for have already come a long way in terms of finding new revenues and establishing long-term economic viability, a journey which all of Bonnier is going through,” says Tomas Franzén, CEO for Bonnier AB. “It’s with this background that he now takes on responsibility for a business area that, aside from its financial importance, also makes up a crucial portion of Bonnier’s journalistic heritage.”

    “I’m excited and proud to be given the chance to grow and develop Bonnier’s daily newspaper companies together with the strong editorial leaders of each paper,” says Anders Eriksson. “Success in developing new revenue streams for these businesses is important not just for Bonnier but for Swedish journalism in a broader sense as well. It’s a big challenge, but in a few key areas we also have unusually good prospects: We have top journalists, strong brands, engaged audiences and owners who think in the long-term.”

    “Gunilla Herlitz has succeeded in the extremely important job of achieving good profitability for our daily newspaper companies, which provides a foundation for journalistic initiatives,” says Tomas Franzén. “At the same time, the challenges for the future are great, and Anders Eriksson’s job now is to find and develop new revenues that can provide Dagens industri, Dagens Nyheter, Expressen and HDSydsvenskan with success over the long term.”

    Following Anders Eriksson’s succession, several divisions of Bonnier’s Swedish Business to Business operations, including business magazines Veckans Affärer and Resumé among others, will become part of the News business area. This is to realize the potential from increased collaboration with, primarily, Dagens industri.

    Business to Business CFO Karmo Kaas-Lutsberg will take over as acting head of the business area. The search for a permanent replacement is underway. Anders Eriksson will continue to be involved in Business to Business as chairman of the board for the business area.

    About Anders Eriksson: Responsible for Bonnier’s business area Business to Business, which had revenues of SEK 1.32 billion with profits of SEK 171 million in 2015. He has worked at Bonnier since 2009. He has previously been business area head and member of the executive management team of Melbourne IT Ltd, European head at Razorfish Inc, as well as a management consultant at SIAR-Bossard. He is chairman of the board for Denmark’s leading business daily, Dagbladet Børsen, as well as a number of companies within Bonnier Business Press, the parent company for the Business to Business companies; he is also a board member for data company Bisnode.  

     


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  • 06/09/16--10:19: The Inspiring Fifty
  • Five of the fifty most inspiring women leaders in technology in the Nordics are from Bonnier.

    Inspiring Fifty

    The Inspiring Fifty, an initiative to identify, encourage, develop and showcase women in leadership positions within the technology sector, yesterday named its first Nordic honorees. 

    The aim of The Inspiring Fifty is to put a focus on the often-ignored women leaders in tech and set a shining example for future tech leaders. As The Inspiring Fifty describe their purpose: "We hope to inspire a new generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs, leading the charge to affect meaningful and durable change."

    The five women from Bonnier in the Nordic region of The Inspiring Fifty are:

    • Anki Ahrnell, CDO and CTO, Bonnier AB
    • Stina Bergfors, Founder, United Screens
    • Louise Herping Ellgaard, Co-Founder, Clio Online
    • Charlotte Svensson, CDO, Bonnier News
    • Sara Öhrvall, Digital Advisor and former Head of Bonnier R&D

     

    "I am delighted to have been named one of the 50 most inspiring women in the technology sector across the Nordics 2016,” says Anki Ahrnell. “It’s an honor to be in a group alongside so many powerful and smart women working in so many different areas of technology. And I’m particularly happy that five out of 50, that’s 10 percent, are from Bonnier companies! It’s so important that young women see that there are there are lots of opportunities for them in digital and technology, and this initiative from The Inspiring Fifty is one way of showing them by providing them with role models close to home.”

     


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    The board of directors for SF Studios has today come to an agreement with Jonas Fors to leave his position as CEO of SF Studios, effective immediately. Frida Westerberg, Deputy CEO & COO, will take over as acting CEO. The search for a new CEO will start immediately.

    SF Studios logo

    Says Ulrika Saxon, who represents Bonnier AB on the board of directors for SF Studios:

    “For Bonnier as majority owner, we have come to the conclusion that, considering the current situation, Jonas Fors can no longer successfully serve as leader for SF Studios.

    “In recent days, harsh criticism has been leveled at SF Studios regarding the company’s corporate culture, in particular in connection with gender equality, as well as regarding the company’s conduct at the film festival in Cannes and the company’s business model for its film and TV productions.

    “We take the criticism very seriously. In terms of SF Studios’ corporate culture, two images of the company stand diametrically opposed to each other, especially concerning gender equality. On one side, 60 percent of the company’s employees are women, the executive management team is evenly divided between men and women, and there are women in a number of the most central leadership positions. On the other side are accusations of sexism. In order to get to the facts concerning the company’s work culture, we will be bringing in a third party to conduct a thorough survey among SF Studios’ employees.

    “Jonas Fors was appointed CEO in conjunction with the merger of SF Studios and production company Tre Vänner in fall of 2013. He has, together with his management team, made significant efforts in taking SF Studios from big losses in 2013-2014, to slightly better than breaking even in 2015.

    “SF Studios will continue to invest heavily in Swedish and Nordic films in the future, so it is crucial that the production business be economically viable. In order to do so, SF Studios must continue to attract top talents from within the industry. To succeed in this will require both a good work environment within the corporate organization as well as the confidence of other players in the industry.”

     


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  • 06/13/16--07:43: Euro 16 on Expressen TV
  • Everything a soccer fan could want from web TV coverage online of Euro 16.

    Expressen TV

    Expressen TV has built a brand new green screen studio, located at the Bonnier News building in Stockholm and launched last Friday when Euro 16 kicked off in France. On Monday evening it's Sweden vs. Republic of Ireland, and Expressen TV will cover the showdown extensively with 16 hours of live TV.

    "The new studio uses world-leading Vizrt technology, the same 3D graphics that CNN, the BBC and others have invested in, and we're also offering 3D virtual reality highlights from the games which are produced by the French news agency AFP," says Bella Levy, Head of Expressen TV.

    Expressen TV also has an on-location studio in France, currently in Paris but mostly in Pornichet, where the Swedish team is based. Video reporters are based by the Swedish team hotel, the training grounds and among the football fans. Press conferences and training sessions are shown live.

    "We co-operate with CNN, Reuters and AP and use their live feeds," says Levy. "This is the most ambitious coverage of a football championship in Sweden so far, never ever has any media hourse offered so many interviews and analysts, and so on."

    Every morning there is an 8:00 a.m. "Studio Pornichet" show, followed by live coverage from various Euro 16 teams press conferences etc, and from 2.00 p.m. the "Euro 16 Studio" show goes on until midnight.

    "Traditional linear TV channels, such as TV4 or C More, are great producers of the actual game broadcast," says Levy. "As a purely digital player, what we offer is something different. We add video to what we also do in print and online."

     


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    Bonnier Growth Media Leads SEK 50 Million Investment Round (USD 6 Million) in Fertility App Natural Cycles.

    Ulrika Saxon, Elina Berglund and Raoul Scherwitzl (photo Rikard Westman)

     The Stockholm-based fertility app Natural Cycles is raising an SEK 50 million (USD 6 million) Series A from Bonnier Media Growth and existing investors Sunstone and E-ventures to fuel international expansion and perform additional clinical studies. 

    Natural Cycles, a clinically tested fertility app that has been shown to be as effective as the contraceptive pill at preventing pregnancies, launched in 2014 and counts more than 100,000 users in 161 countries with the large majority of users in Sweden. Natural Cycles reported revenues of USD 2 million in 2015, its first full year of trading.

    The new capital will be used to build out the team, which currently consists of 12 people, expand internationally with focus on the U.S. as well as pursue a set of clinical studies within the field of contraception and fertility.

    “We have been able to demonstrate the past two years that our app is something that women want and need. Natural Cycles is a healthy business - women pay for the app, they use it practically every day and most importantly, they love it. It is truly an honor to have been able to improve so many women’s lives,” says Elina Berglund, CTO & co-founder of Natural Cycles, who started the company together with her husband after being part of the team of researchers that discovered the Higgs boson at CERN.

    The medical world also has begun to recognize and endorse the app. Kristina Gemzell, the leading Swedish researcher in the field of contraception sits on the company’s advisory board and conducts clinical studies together with Natural Cycles.

    “We are building a large company and the funding will primarily be used on recruitment. Natural Cycles operates in a very complex field with many stakeholders - women, doctors, regulators. It is essential to strike a good balance between consumer and medical. We want to combine the best of the worlds of pharmaceutical and tech - building an empowering brand backed with thorough research. We are very excited to have Bonnier on board for this journey. It is especially their long-term thinking, consumer focus and commitment to scaling our business, which makes Bonnier Growth Media a great partner,” says Raoul Scherwitzl, co-founder and chief executive.

    “Natural Cycles has a unique product and a best-in-class team with a combination of scientific, technology and business competencies. This makes them a perfect match for Bonnier Growth Media’s focus on backing ambitious founders who are building exceptional digital consumer businesses where we can add value in terms of consumer understanding and scaling the business further. Natural Cycles’ mission of making every pregnancy wanted is not only an engaging endeavor to be a part of, but we are convinced that it is also a great business opportunity,” says Ulrika Saxon, CEO of Bonnier Growth Media.

    Bonnier Media Growth is the venture arm of the Swedish media group Bonnier, and its previous investments include companies such as podcast platform Acast, virtual reality gaming studio Resolution Games and cashback service Refunder.

    Natural Cycles is the safe, healthy and easy-to-use fertility app for women based on their body temperature, which is used to prevent, plan and monitor pregnancies. The app was founded by husband and wife team, Dr. Elina Berglund and Dr. Raoul Scherwitzl.

    With PhDs in physics, they applied their mathematical techniques to develop the Natural Cycles algorithm. Elina was a researcher at CERN and one of the physicists whodiscovered the Higgs boson which lead to the Nobel Prize in 2013.

    The Natural Cycles app mission is to educate and empower women to take control of their fertility and future around a vision where every pregnancy is wanted. Beyond the app offerings, Natural Cycles advances scientific research in the field of contraception and fertility.

     


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  • 06/27/16--01:52: Bo Strömstedt 1929-2016
  • The passing of one of Sweden's great journalists.

    Bo Strömstedt

    Bo Strömstedt has died. He leaves behind his wife, journalist and author Margareta Strömstedt, and children Lotten and Niklas Strömstedt.

    Bo Strömstedt ranks among the journalism giants in Bonnier's history. He started at Expressen as a book reviewer in the early 1950s, became the head of the culture desk and then editor-in-chief from 1977 to 1991. During his time heading up the culture desk and as editor-in-chief, a great number of Sweden's leading authors and intellectuals were connected with the paper. Among these were Anders Ehnmark, Lars Forsell and Vilhelm Moberg. It was also in Expressen that Astrid Lindgren chose to take on the Swedish tax system in her essay "Pomperipossa i Monismanien" prior to the 1976 elections.

    During Bo Strömstedt's years at the helm of Expressen, he stood at the center of public debate. He defended the mix of entertainment, sensationalism and seriousness that characterizes a Swedish evening paper. He did this through debate, as well as in six cases before the courts. He won in all six cases. In a column memorializing Bo Strömstedt, current editor-in-chief of Expressen, Thomas Mattsson, cited a passage from Strömstedt's memoir, Löpsedeln och insidan (news bills and the inside): "Controversy is the life blood of the evening paper. Controversy was also my life blood: meaningful conflict livened the day and the senses."

    Today we honor the memory of one of Sweden's greatest journalists, and a truly key figure in the history of Bonnier's journalism.

     


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    Norway's biggest children's book publisher adds audiobook publisher to its stable.

    Gammafon logo

    Norwegian book publisher Cappelen Damm is acquiring all the shares of Ordkommisjonen AS, effective July 1. Ordkommisjonen produces print and audiobooks through its own imprint, Gammafon, as well as audiobooks for other book publishers in the Norwegian market.

    "The acquisition will boost Cappelen Damm's children's activities with new skills and interest areas of rights, in particular related to audiobooks, picture books and other products related to well-known brands," says Tom Harald Jenssen, CEO of Cappelen Damm.

    Gammafon's audiobook rights include all of Astrid Lindgren's books as audio books and audio files, Gunilla Bergström's Alfie Atkins books, Jujja Wieslander's Mamma Moo and the Crow, Sven Nordqvist's Pettson and Findus books and Martin Widmark's the Whodunit Detective Agency books, among others.

     


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