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Bonnier Corporation Expands


Bonnier Corporation in the U.S. acquires The Promotion Company Inc. - Family Events.

U.S. media company Bonnier Corporation has acquired The Promotion Company Inc. - Family Events. The new acquisition expands the range of events Bonnier Corporation runs throughout the U.S.

“This strategic acquisition will allow Bonnier to extend its high-value enthusiast audience by leveraging robust event opportunities,” says Matt Hickman, vice president of brand strategies, Bonnier Corporation. “We view event audiences, both spectators and participants, as truly passionate. That passion drives consumer demand, deep engagement and unlimited activation potential."

The Promotion Company- Family Events produces annual events such as the Hot Bike Tour, the Off-Road Expo, Monster Truck Nationals, 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals, among many others.  

With the new purchase, Bonnier melds the assets and caters to a niche community of supporters that will grow revenues, profitability and the company, says Hickman.


Getting Personal With Books Online


With the brand new mybook.de, German readers get books recommended for them from a select panel of editors, bloggers, booksellers and other qualified booklovers.


How do you capture online the essence of a good book shop, with its friendly staff always ready to recommend just the right book that you didn’t even know was there, just waiting for you to dig into?

German book publisher Ullstein has the digital answer with mybook.de, a new unique book recommendation service and online store that is launching at the Frankfurt Book Fair today.

Says Antonia Besse, managing director for mybook.de: “During my time as marketing direktor at Ullstein, a colleague and I thought that what we personally miss is a website without a lot of advertising, just a good-looking page with good book recommendations – and no Amazon-like ‘people who bought this also bought that…’ feeling.”

And so mybook.de was born: Besse was given the go-ahead to turn the idea into reality. What followed was a lot of testing, trying different ways of doing things, failing sometimes but always asking the customers directly what they liked and what they didn’t like, says Besse.

Ultimately, what they came up with is a service (for now targeted to women 20-50, well-educated with middle income and more rural than urban), where readers join up and then fill out a questionnaire where, based on their answers, they get recommendations from a panel of specially chosen “experts” – a select but very mixed group of booksellers, bloggers, literature students, editors and others; to put it simply qualified booklovers of various sorts. Once a reader has gotten her very personal recommendation, she can simply click to purchase the book, which is then sent to her overnight with special packaging and a mybook bookmark.

“We strongly believe that good book recommendations can’t be the result of a computer algorithm - algorithms deliver what others liked, not what you like,” says Besse. “Recommendations should be on point, sometimes surprising and always inspiring.”

So far, they’ve tested out the questionnaire with over 10,000 people – in a customer survey more than 60 percent used their recommendations either to buy the book or borrowed a copy. And Besse herself fills out the questionnaire twice a week. “I’m kind of a multiple-personality now,” she says, smiling. “But my personal recommendation of the week is Nele Neuhaus’ new book… I can’t wait to get the first one on Friday!”

The journey has been an exciting one for Besse, who is getting the chance to work with a startup for the first time. “I always wanted to be an entrepreneur – and never thought that the book business might have an opportunity for me,” she says. “But look what can happen with one good idea and a lot of support. Today, we are actually launching the company, it’s incredible that we made it this far!"


More Women at Sime


Women In Tech gives away 50 spots for Sime, with help from Bonnier.

“With women underrepresented in many aspects of the tech world, we believe it’s important to support initiatives that push for an equal and inclusive media and tech community,” says Elisabeth Palombo, vice president for talent management at Bonnier AB. “So we are helping Women In Tech give away 50 spots at the upcoming Sime conference in Stockholm.”

Sime – which stands for Scandinavian Interactive Media Event – is one of the premier business and tech meetings in the Nordic region, with 1800 people attending the event, held in Stockholm on Nov. 11-12. Women In Tech, which is sponsored by Bonnier and a number of other media and technology companies, aims to inspire women to work in tech by providing networking and other opportunities.

“Not only are many of our brands aimed at women, but historically Bonnier companies have been popular places for women to work,” says Palombo. “We want this to continue and as our workforce goes digital, we want to make sure that we support the development of competent and smart female developers, programmers and other digital talents."

To win one of the 50 spots, write why you should attend the conference in the form hereRead more at www.wit2014.com and www.sime.nu.  


Bonnier Up At Universum


Bonnier has moved up the rankings as a favorite IT employer for young professionals in Sweden in a key employer branding survey from Universum. Moving from No. 24 to No. 19, Bonnier subsidiary TV4 was the only commercial media company that ranked higher, coming in at No. 18.

“Last year we made a big leap forward when we moved from No. 49 to No. 24 in just one year as a preferred employer for IT professionals, and this year we’ve gone even further,” says Elisabeth Palombo, VP, Bonnier Media University at Bonnier AB.

“We’re pleased that digital professionals recognize us as a top employer. Bonnier is undergoing a major transformation to become a leading digital media group and we have a lot to offer digital talents – and we know they have a lot to offer us as well. Throughout 2014, many companies within Bonnier have made new digital recruits, and we’ll be hiring even more in 2015.”

The rankings are conducted by independent employer branding specialist Universum, which collects perceptions from 700,000 students and workers globally each year and publishes the results. 

See the full IT rankings here.


Trading Places, Part 5


During a Skype interview, Martti Lindholm of MTV in Finland and David Hall of TV4 in Sweden talked about Twitter, gaining new perspectives on your job and trading places under Bonnier’s GROW program.

David Hall and Martti Lindholm

What are you working on, and is it similar to what you usually work with?
David Hall: Just now, I’ve been looking at some things we’ve been doing on Instagram and analyzing the statistics. But mostly I’ve been working on a new mobile responsive site that’s being launched by MTV.

Martti Lindholm: Right now, I’m working on a Twitter strategy for TV4 – what should or shouldn’t be done during live broadcasts, how TV4 should present itself, etc.

DH: I applied for GROW because I was interested in social media and this seemed like a natural fit for me. I normally work with system development but this was a chance to work with something different that I’m very interested in.

ML: I’m doing pretty similar stuff to what I do in Finland – how people use social media. And here in Sweden, there are a lot of similarities, but some differences as well. At MTV we have more of a policy that everyone working there should all use social media to talk about their work to increase the transparency, and we have lots of ways to do it. For instance, a tool we use called SmarpShare has a feed with important topics available for sharing that we can then post.

The structure at TV4 is different and the focus is more on TV4’s intranet.

Have you had regular contact with each other?
DH: Not so much, just a couple of times-

ML: On Twitter!

DH: Before I applied for the GROW position, I read Martti’s blog entries so I had a good hunch of what the job would be like.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned?
MH: Probably the biggest insight I’ve had is that with the distance I have from my usual co-workers and my employer, I’m getting a new perspective on my job. When you’re in your small everyday circle, you’re too close to really see, you’re worried whether what you’re doing is enough or is good, with social media for example. But with a bit of distance, I can see that we are doing good things. Plus I get to see how things are at TV4, like with Facebook for example, they do it so differently and it’s a great opportunity to discuss with colleagues and bring it home  - and I hope that I’m giving them something as well.

DH: I totally agree about getting a new perspective. I think what I’ve seen especially is how the organization really colors our daily work, and it impacts the services we provide. It’s interesting with the differences, and they’re important. For me, it also gave me the chance to do something other than programming and prove to myself that I could be interested in and work with it.

What is best about the experience – on or off the job?
DH: I like being able to walk through central Helsinki every morning on my way to work. You can really feel the city pulse.

ML: Yeah, it’s easy to get to the office here. I like walking through the city, too, there are lots of beautiful buildings and great restaurants with great food. But what I like most is the feeling that I’ve been given the freedom to develop myself.

DH: I agree, the chance to work on something in a more concentrated way is a great opportunity.

Any big surprises?
ML: Well, I already knew before I came that Swedes like to discuss everything a lot in making decisions, compared to the more silent and hierarchical Finnish style [editor’s note: Lindholm used a Swedish expression involving a Finnish profanity that we won’t publish here] – it’s a culture of consensus and discussion – and it can really lead to the right path. Still, it amazed me how much it was true, for good and bad.

DH: We Swedes do really have a culture of discussing things and sometimes get accused of no one taking responsibility. And definitely, here in Finland it’s more hierarchical. But really, I would say that even if it’s similar, it’s still dissimilar enough to be interesting.

ML: But my colleagues haven’t been silent, they’ve been talking to you, haven’t they?

DH: Yes, of course, they’ve been really nice (laughing).

Any last words of advice to each other?
DH: I hope Martti will leave all his great ideas with TV4 and help us revitalize what we’re doing in social media.

ML: And I hope that you enjoy your time there, David. Get to know as many people as possible because I think we’ll be working more together in the future.

DH: You’re right, there’s been a lot of talking about more cooperation here, working on more products together and discussing ways we could work together.

ML: Exactly, and there are lots of ways we can work together.


Adam Sachs Doesn't Do Takeout


We talked with Saveur's new editor-in-chief, Adam Sachs, about what he brings to the magazine and the challenges he faces - including finding a good spot for lunch.

Adam Sachs

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you bring to Saveur.
I've been lucky enough to spend much of my career wandering and (over-) eating and generally being curious for a living. I've written extensively about food, travel and culture for a variety of magazines, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure, GQ and The New York Times T Style Magazine among them.

I live in a tree-lined but not very hip part of Brooklyn with my girlfriend, our two kids and a beat up Volvo wagon. What do I bring to Saveur? A passion for seeing the world through food, a desire to bring together the kinds of stories about eating adventures, great recipes, non-snobby wine advice and curated travel intelligence that I'd like to read and a plan to make Saveur the must-read magazine for culinary enthusiasts.  

What are the biggest challenges for Saveur right now and for you as new editor-in-chief?
There are so many great food and drink stories to tell. The challenge is thinking up new ways to tell them, bringing new voices into the mix and developing a unique Saveur approach to the world of food and drink. Also I need to find a good, quiet spot for lunch near the new office. 

What do you love most about Saveur?
I love the passion, the intelligence, the credibility and the feeling people have for the brand. 

Takeout: Thai or Mexican?
I am that rare New Yorker who doesn't do takeout. Pizza in a pinch but I'd always prefer to cook, even if it's just a simple plate of pasta, eaten while standing and sorting junk mail. 


MTV Radiot Launches


Sales organizations merged for major Finnish radio stations.

MTV Radiot

MTV and NRJ Finland have agreed on an arrangement to join the Radio Nova and NRJ Finland sales organisations. The new organisation will be called MTV Radiot and will be responsible for the media sales of the three radio stations: Radio Nova, NRJ and Nostalgia. It will start its operations at the beginning of November.

This arrangement will create a completely new player in the Finnish radio sector that will be able to reach the target groups of three very different and complementary radio stations.

"MTV Radiot will allow us to offer more varied advertising solutions for our customers," explains MTV's Commercial Director Tomi Halonen, summing up the impact of the new operations. "NRJ and MTV customers will reach an even wider range of listeners, and they can focus their advertising more effectively."

Merging the operations will only concern sales; both NRJ Finland and Radio Nova will continue to operate and produce the content for their radio stations.

This collaboration is the next step in the line of big reforms at MTV. "The rearrangements support our strategy according to which we want to offer one-stop, multi-media services to our customers. MTV wants to build a strong relationship with Finns, both advertisers and audiences," says MTV CEO Heikki Rotko.


Books With a Difference from Blink


From YouTube sensation Alfie Deyes to footballer Rio Ferdinand, new imprint Blink Publishing comes out with an exciting mix of authors in the U.K.

Bestseller Alfie Deyes' The Pointless Book

On top of the latest trends and able to publish in the blink of an eye – more or less – Blink Publishing, the new non-fiction book imprint from Bonnier Publishing in the U.K., is living up to its name with a quirky and eye-catching list of books. Blink authors range from current YouTube sensation Alfie Deyes to Buckingham Palace former press officer Dickie Arbiter – and the genesis of the imprint, soccer star Rio Ferdinand, whose memoir was put out by Bonnier Publishing to test the waters of the adult market.

“It has been a Bonnier Publishing strategy for a while to move into adult publishing and following the publication of Rio Ferdinand’s My Decade as a Red in the summer of 2013, the decision was made to create a totally different type of adult non-fiction imprint to compete against established mass-market publishing houses that had dominated the genre,” says Perminder Mann, managing director for Blink Publishing.   

Launched in September 2013, the first official title came in May 2014 and nine titles have been released in 2014, with 26 titles expected for 2015.

“We have handpicked a specialist team who are responsive to current trends,” says Mann. “Blink is unlike traditional publishing houses, because we can move at real speed and for us, nothing is impossible. This has been a big win for us with agents and authors.”

With books on footballers and duchesses, a racecar driver and an X Factor star, a photographer and more, Bink’s eclectic mix has something for everyone, and the publisher tries to select projects with a big digital element.

So far, the British reading public has been eating it up.

Take the launch of Alfie Deyes' The Pointless Book, which has been No. 1 on the adult non-fiction paperback list since its release – and the accompanying app has been nominated as the Best Non-Fiction Digital Book at the 2015 FutureBook Awards. At the release of the book at Waterstones, London Piccadilly on Sept. 6, Blink expected up to 800 fans to show. “Surprisingly, over 6,000 people turned up, desperate to meet Alfie Deyes,” says Mann. “The store said they have never experienced anything like it since the Harry Potter days. David Beckham only had 1,000 turn up! The police had to close down streets in central London to control the crowds and we had police on mounted horseback brought in to help bring some order.”

Now that’s an opening! 


Bonnier Publishing Acquires IglooBooks


Acquisition of IglooBooks makes Bonnier Publishing the leading player in children's mass market publishing in the U.K.


U.K.-based book publisher Bonnier Publishing has announced a deal to purchase IglooBooks. The deal will mean that Bonnier Publishing becomes one of the five largest children’s publishers in the U.K. and the dominant force in children’s mass market publishing.

The acquisition takes place with immediate effect and there will be no resulting redundancies made on either side as a consequence of the deal. All 120 IglooBooks staff members will continue to be based at its Northamptonshire offices and CEO John Styring and his management team will all retain their roles following the acquisition.

Richard Johnson, CEO of Bonnier Publishing, says: “Earlier this summer I set out the goal of doubling our annual turnover. My aim was to do this by means of both organic growth and acquisition. IglooBooks stood out immediately as a company we could do business with. It shares many of the same cultural and commercial values as Bonnier and is as ambitious and focused on achieving fast growth as we are.

“Through this acquisition we will become the dominant force in U.K. children's mass market publishing and we intend to invest heavily in John’s plans for IglooBooks moving forwards.”


Finalists for Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism


Earlier today, the short list was announced for the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism, the most prestigious award of its kind in Sweden.

Finalists for the 2014 Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism

The finalists for the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism were named at a press conference today. The award categories include Storyteller of the Year, Innovator of the Year and Scoop of the Year.

The finalists for Storyteller of the Year:

Fanny Härgestam
The book Det här är vår tid (This Is Our Time)
The jury wrote: "For tenacious reporting that turns the introduction of a new constitution into an intimate and gripping thriller."

Camilla Johansson and Helene Näslund, UR
TV program “Sverige sviker” (Sweden fails)
The jury wrote: "For grand cinematic storytelling that respectfully gets us close to the children that schools fail with."

Måns Mosesson, P1 Dokumentär, Swedish Radio
Documentary series Rädda Sverige (Scared Sweden)
The jury wrote: "For, with respect and curiosity, listening to and asking well-timed questions to a scared Sweden."

The finalists for Innovator of the Year:

Carl Johan Bergman, Anders Härén and Hans Lindenberg, MittMedia
Election-coverage site #kandulova (#can you promise)
The jury wrote: "Because they gave readers in 52 municipalities an easy tool to set the agenda for local journalism and put politicians under scrutiny."

Silane Diljen, P1 Documentary, Swedish Radio
The documentary, radio project and stories from refugees #minflykt
The jury wrote: "Because she, together with the public, began the writing of a new chapter in modern Swedish history."

Jack Werner, Linnea Jonjons, and Åsa Larsson, Metro
Viralgranskaren (viral examiner), which measures the veracity of social media
The jury wrote: "Because they created an ingenious method to uncover what is myth and what is reality in the viral world."

The finalists for Scoop of the Year:

Axel Gordh Humlesjö, Henrik Bergsten, Ali Fegan and Kepa Arizala, Uppdrag Granskning, Swedish Television
TV program “En skola för alla” (a school for everyone)
The jury wrote: "Because, in a moving examination of social class, they have proven how choice leads to children being not chosen."

Christian Holmen and David Baas, Expressen; Martin Fredriksson and My Vingren, Researchgruppen
Investigative series “SD och näthatet” (Sweden Democrats and online hate speech)
The jury wrote: "Because, through pioneering but controversial methods, they have revealed a network of hate and shown the true face of 'zero tolerance.'"

Dan Josefsson and Jenny Küttim
The book Mannen som slutade ljuga (the man who stopped lying) and the TV documentary Kvinnan bakom Thomas Quick (the woman behind Thomas Quick)
The jury wrote: "Because, through the height of storytelling and the depth of research, they have gotten access to society's most closed rooms and turned ​​a major revelation into something bigger."

The finalists received certificates and were celebrated by their fellow journalists at a lunchtime ceremony. They were also interviewed onstage by Eva Hamilton, the outgoing CEO of Swedish Television, who will be the program host for the prize ceremony in Stockholm on November 20.

At the November ceremony, the winner of the Lukas Bonnier Grand Prize for Journalism, for lifetime achievement, also will be announced. The prize is SEK 100,000 for each category.

Read more at www.storajournalistpriset.se (in Swedish).


Trading Places, Part 6


When front-end developer Travis Larson of Bonnier Corporation and web designer Rasmus Grønbech of Bonnier Publications swapped places in Bonnier’s GROW program, they also traded apartments – and a dog. We talked on Skype with the two – one in Winter Park, Florida and the other in Copenhagen.

Travis Larson och Rasmus Grønbech

What are you working on – have you been in touch much about it?
Rasmus Grønbech: I am working on a few different editorial features, both design and development, as well as a new base template for the features. Also I am working on updating a cookie calendar for Saveur.com, which will be promoted in December.

Travis Larson: I’ve been working on the new White Album publishing platform, WordPress-based fashion blogs, and of course, my bike skills.

RG: (Laughing) Ha ha! We’ve been talking a lot. Sometimes we talk pretty much every day. And right now, I’m taking care of Travis’ dog, so –

TL: Yeah, we talk a little about everything, sometimes work, sometimes stuff to do and places to go.

Any big surprises or things you weren’t expecting?
TL: I was surprised how similar the challenges are, but how different the approach is to reach essentially the same goals. In Copenhagen, details are discussed as a group with everyone's input. In Winter Park, smaller teams decide and delegate work to others. Plus here, there’s so much cake.

RG: (Laughs) So people are still late?

TL: Well, sometimes it’s me – but let me explain the whole cake thing. Whoever's late on Wednesdays buys cake for the team.

And your favorite?
TL: There was one with different chocolate layers and pumpkin fondant…

RG: The triple chocolate cake!

Getting back to what surprised you, Rasmus…
RG: Yes, for me it’s been along the same lines as Travis. In terms of the job, we’re working on very similar projects, but the approach to the obstacles we face is very different. I’ve had to adjust to how people are thinking here. I expected it to be more or less the same as in Denmark, but it’s in earlier stages here in Winter Park. We’re just launching websites on the new platform, there are changes that might need to be made to the ad formats, the editors need to learn what’s possible with the platform.

Have you been able to offer advice from your experience at your home companies in Denmark and the U.S.?
RG: In the beginning, not so much. But in the last weeks I’ve been helping with some issues. It’s about coming up with some different options I think.

TL: I see a lot of the strengths of the platform, but I’ve been able to contribute on user-experience issues and search engine optimization.

Anything you’ll miss or be taking back with you?
RG: I’m gonna miss two things: Tijuana Flats and its Tex-Mex food, and also Four Rivers [another restaurant]. But really I’ll be taking the whole experience back with me. I learned a great deal.

TL: I’ve been working at Bonnier Corp. for about two years now, but this experience lent to a much wider understanding of Bonnier's global presence. Also, I’ll be taking Rasmus’ stove back with me, just don’t tell him.

RG: (Laughs) Right.

TL: One of the great things is that we’re going to get to meet here in Denmark, he’s coming before I go back.

RG: We agree on a lot of stuff, we’re very similar and that’s really been a good thing and made for a different experience I think. It’ll be great to meet, we already know each other so well!


Carolina Neurath Wins Per Wendel Prize


Praised for her investigations of the financial sector.

Carolina Neurath receives the Per Wendel Prize from Otto Sjöberg

Carolina Neurath, currently a journalist for Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, has been investigating the financial sector for several years, among other things writing the book  Den stora bankhärvan: Finansparet Hagströmer och Qvibergs uppgång och fall (The big bank affair: finance pair Hagströmer and Qviberg's rise and fall).

"When I heard I'd won the prize I was a bit stunned," says Neurath. "It feels huge, and flattering."

Neurath was awarded the prize for her sharp investigation of the economy and also her work in a broad range of different media.

"Carolina has, for a long time, had scoops about the financial world," says Otto Sjöberg, chairman of the jury for the prize. "Previously, most winners have worked in traditional media, but Carolina works in several channels and social media. She crosses boundaries with ease. If Pelle Wendel had been working today, I'm sure he would have done the same thing and used social media."

The prize includes SEK 75,000. The Per Wendel Prize was first given out in 2006, founded by Expressen's then editor-in-chief Sjöberg in memory of Expressen journalist Per Wendel. Wendel was one of the paper's most well-known reporters. He won the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism in 1988.


Record Win for Bonnier Tidskrifter


Five nominations, three winners. Bonnier Tidskrifter won big at the prestigious Tidskriftsgalan magazine prizes.

Tidskriftspriset winners Nina Oja, Christian Geijer and Magdalena Egeli

For the 25th year in a road, the prestigious Tidskriftspriset awards were given out in Stockholm. An award that Bonnier Tidskrifter has won 13 times earlier, but never so many in one year and in such a broad range of categories - advertising, digital and editorial/design.

The winner for breakthrough of the year was Christian Geijer, working with copy at Bonnier Tidskrifter's Digital Media division, with the jury writing: "For having shown the social forefront in inspiring fashion in a branch where the magazine world has been late to the race."

The art director of the year went to Nina Oja, STYLEBY, with the jury writing: "A magazine that immediately signals its a must-read for those who want to have their finger on the pulse. An international feeling and a personal voice that gives a feeling of intimacy with its readers. With a tight and punkish design, STYLEBY and Nina Oja give us an insider's fashion journey."

The ad sales representative of the year was Magdalena Egelin, Bonnier Tidskrifter.

The other two finalists from Bonnier Tidskrifter were:

For art director of the year: Joel Persson, Icon Magazine, with the jury writing: "Flawless design in typography as well as photography with careful attention to detail. Though fairly new, the design of Icon already has a strong identity. Its consistency is a strength.”

For ad sales representative of the year: Anna Björling, Bonnier Tidskrifter.


New Head of Corporate Development and M & A

Fredrik Linton

Fredrik Linton will join Bonnier AB’s executive management team as head of Corporate Development and M&A as of Dec. 1. Most recently, he has been at Swedish investment bank Carnegie, and previously worked as head of strategy and M&A for Swedish telecom firm Tele2, where he was also part of senior management.

Read the press release here.


Expressen Turns 70


Happy birthday to Sweden's favorite afternoon paper, Expressen.

Expressen turns 70

November 16 was no ordinary day for Expressen. The day marked 70 years since the very first copy hit the newsstands. The first copy, in keeping with the paper's anti-Nazi origins, featured a cover story about six British pilots who'd sunk a Nazi battleship and landed in northern Sweden before making their way by night train to Stockholm and the British Embassy. (You can read a full copy of the first issue of Expressen here - in Swedish of course!)

"We celebrated the 70 years at the paper already on Friday, inviting in 96-year-old Svante Löfgren, who started at Expressen in 1949 and was a correspondent in Berlin, Bonn, Los Angeles and Geneva," says Thomas Mattsson, editor-in-chief. "Svante is known most for his global scoop from 1953, when he interviewed Ho Chi Minh via telegram - he received a long applause from his colleagues at the paper. I wanted Svante there as a reminder of the newspaper's heritage, and it came off beautifully."

The paper also had other reasons to celebrate, with a new record on its mobile site, with an increase in traffic of 114 percent with over 3.5 million unique readers. "It was fun that the mobile site, our biggest channel, had record traffic the same week we turned 70," says Mattsson.

You can read more articles from the early years of Expressenhere, here and here (in Swedish). And in his blog, Mattsson pays tribute to a long list of reporters, photographers, editors and scoops from Expressen over the years - check it out here (in Swedish).


Tre Vänner: Growing Fast at a Profit


Swedish film and TV production company Tre Vänner, wins Dagens industri's Gazelle award for three years of growth and four years of profitability.

Tre Vänner Gazelle Award

When Jonas Fors was invited to speak at Dagens industri’s Gazelle event, recognizing the most profitable and fast-growing companies with revenues over SEK 10 million, he wondered why Tre Vänner, the film and TV production company that he co-founded, hadn’t been considered for the awards.

“I thought: ‘We fulfill all the criteria, our organic growth has doubled during the past three years, and we’ve been in strong financial shape with profits for the past four years, with an EBITA of 14 percent,” says Fors, who is CEO as well for Svensk Filmindustri. “Granted, our revenues are quite a bit bigger than just 10 million – we went from SEK 50 million to SEK 200 million in three years.”

So it’s no surprise that when Tre Vänner was in the running, it made the grade and has been named one of Sweden’s fastest growing and profitable companies. Less than 0.5 percent of Swedish companies manage to make the list, which has been meticulously pulled together each year since 1999 by Dagens industri, Sweden’s No. 1 business daily.

 “When we found out we’d been named we were happy,” says Fors. “But the more we thought about it, the more we realized it really reflected the hard work of everyone at the company the past three years, so we decided it was time to celebrate!”

Fors isn’t content to rest on his laurels, however. He hopes that the company can make it one step further: “We want to be the Super Gazelle, which goes to the best company in Sweden!” This top award, which goes to the single best-performing Gazelle winner with more than SEK 25 million in revenues,  will be given out at a special 15th anniversary Gazelle awards ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 1.


Sweden’s Top Journalists


Here are the winners of the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism 2014.

Winners of the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism 2014

Winners of the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism, Sweden’s most prestigious awards of its kind, were announced at a ceremony in Stockholm this evening. Some 200 of the country’s leading media personalities gathered to see the winners, with each prize category is worth SEK 100,000. Among the winners were TV4's Malou von Sivers, who won the Lukas Bonnier Grand Prize for Journalism for lifetime achievement. The awards were established in 1966 by Bonnier to support top work in journalism. The ceremony was live broadcast on Sweden’s biggest media sites.  

The winners of the four categories were:

Storyteller of the Year
Måns Mosesson, P1 Dokumentär, Swedish Radio 
Documentary series Rädda Sverige (Scared Sweden)
The jury wrote: “For, with respect and curiosity, listening to and asking well-timed questions to a scared Sweden.”

Innovator of the Year
Jack Werner, Linnea Jonjons, and Åsa Larsson, Metro 
Viralgranskaren (viral examiner), which measures the veracity of social media 
The jury wrote: “Because they created an ingenious method to uncover what is myth and what is reality in the viral world.”

Scoop of the Year
Dan Josefsson and Jenny Küttim 
The book Mannen som slutade ljuga (the man who stopped lying) and the TV documentary Kvinnan bakom Thomas Quick (the woman behind Thomas Quick)
The jury wrote: “Because, through the height of storytelling and the depth of research, they have gotten access to society's most closed rooms and turned ​​a major revelation into something bigger.”

Lukas Bonnier’s Grand Prize for Journalism (for lifetime achievement)
Malou von Sivers, TV4
The jury wrote:  “Because she never settles down on the sofa.”

Program host for the evening was Eva Hamilton, outgoing CEO for Swedish Television. During the ceremony, she interviewed James Harding, the BBC’s director of News & Current Affairs, on how one of the world’s most watched news providers is changing its culture and journalism as news feeds go digital.


Literary Prize Hat Trick


Bonnier authors win the major Nordic book prizes in November.

When the most prestigious national literary awards for Finland, Norway and Sweden were given out in November, Bonnier authors won in five categories.

Finnish book publisher Tammi took home both the Finlandia Junior and the Finlandia Prize. Maria Turtschaninoff won for her book Maresi, in the category best children's and YA book. Author Jussi Valtonen was awarded the Finlandia Prize for He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät (They know not what they do). The prize is given out by the Finnish Book Foundation and is the country's most prestigious literary honor. The prize is worth EUR 30,000.

In Norway, Annette Münch of Cappelen Damm, which is owned jointly by Bonnier and Egmond, won the Brage Prize for best children's and YA book with Badboy: Steroid. The book is about body fixation, that affects even young boys. The year's Award of Honor went to Vigdis Hjorth, with the jury writing: "for personally staking a lot on behalf of literature, she has dared much and shown herself to be extremely brave."

In Sweden, the August Prize was awarded to Lars Lerin in the non-fiction category for his book Naturlära (Natural learning), published by Albert Bonniers Förlag. The winner of Swedish children's and YA book of the year was Jakob Wegelius for Mördarens apa (The Murderer's Ape) published by Bonnier Carlsen. The prizes were given out during the August Prize Ceremony, held at Stockholm's Concert Hall. Each category prize is worth SEK 100,000.


Expanding Unconventionally


Online explosion for Swedish national newspaper Expressen.

Peter Frey

Afternoon paper Expressen has launched Expressen Labs and no less than eight new websites. We talked with the paper’s CIO, Peter Frey, about the initiative and the paper's mobile success.

What is Expressen Labs?
The idea behind Expressen Labs is to develop new products quickly. Quite simply, we’re testing new ideas that otherwise would get lower priority compared to bigger project closer to the core business. For Expressen and other media companies, it’s important to constantly develop new ideas and find new ways of doing business. Our aim is to launch at least one new site per month and so far we’ve more than met our goals. 

What’s the connection between the sites and the newspaper?
The connection is bigger for some of the sites, like the WWII site, and smaller for some, such as our viral sites we launched in Turkey, Norway and Germany [see the list below of the sites launched so far]. We’re testing new things and topics all the time.

How does it work to create a new site from scratch?
The idea for a new site comes from different places. It can be from a co-worker, a group or from the development team. The process moves very quickly from idea to finished product. Sometimes it takes only days, sometimes a few weeks. In order to succeed, it requires fast decisions and a short development process inspired by lean and agile development. The biggest challenge is sorting through all the ideas we have.

How is it going so far for the sites?
The results have been fantastic, with big increases in traffic. And we’re reaching additional target groups.

What’s behind Expressen’s successes with increasing mobile traffic for the paper?
Basically, it’s about having a good product that we package in different formats. To drive mobile traffic, user-friendliness and sites that download fast are incredibly important. Our mobile products are a combination of apps and mobile web in order to achieve this. A key factor is measuring everything and following up so that we know what works and what needs to be changed and improved.

Are there other interesting digital initiatives going on right now?
New platforms and so-called “wearables” are an important area we’re focusing on. Just last week we launched a news service for smart watches. Every new platform is a new opportunity to be No. 1, which is why early launches are important.


Eight New Websites from Expressen Labs

Omtalat.nu - viral site; translated the URL literally means “talked about now”
Sportfeed.se– the name says it all
Gilladjur.se– viral site; gilla djur means “like animals”
Expressen Andra Världskriget– site focused on WWII
Omsnakket.no – Norwegian version of Omtalat.nu
Begenmek.com– Turkish version of Omtalat.nu
Superschnack.de– German version of Omtalat.nu
Gamefeed.se– site for major e-sports matches


Taking Both Routes


What do Kickstarter, Santa Claus and Finnish book publisher WSOY have in common? 

Joel Kontro and Santa's Dream by André Noël Chaker

Crowdfunding or traditional book publishing? It’s a question these days for many new authors who are considering all options to get their books out. But for Finnish book publisher WSOY and popular speaker and writer André Noël Chaker, a Kickstarter campaign and traditional book publishing are both key to Chaker’s upcoming book that aims to inspire children to fulfill their dreams with inspiration from Santa Claus – who of course lives in northern Finland!

“The Kickstarter campaign is actually for the English version of the book and for the possible 3D augmented reality animations that would make the book like a modern version of the old pop-up books,” says Joel Kontro, editor for the book at WSOY. “The Finnish version will be published by us next autumn, regardless of the campaign’s success. André has the rights for the English version and WSOY has the rights for all the other possible language versions. WSOY’s role has also to do with helping André with the story as it’s still partly in the making.”

Chaker, who was Speaker Forum’s speaker of the year in Finland in 2012 and is a well-known non-fiction author in Finland, contacted WSOY originally. “It was easy for us to jump on board, as André has become a reputed name in Finland and his previous books have been successful here,” says Kontro. “However, the main reason was the fact that the book will be a compelling mixture of children’s literature and narrative non-fiction, with the aim of inspiring kids to dream and to fulfill their dreams.”

From WSOY’s point of view, the whole Kickstarter campaign can be seen as a new form of marketing, as it helps to make people aware of the book and to build up expectations prior to publication. And of course, WSOY will make use of all the possibilities that social media adds. “Accompanied with our own contacts, André and his vast personal and business network is key to the book’s marketing endeavors,” says Kontro. “For WSOY this is a great opportunity to seek new ways of reaching out to our potential readership in the ever-changing media environment.”

Crowdfunding of books is something Kontro expects will continue to grow in the future. The public is becoming increasingly familiar with the practice and it ties right in with making purchases online, he says. “In the case of this particular project, crowdfunding is used for trying to add something extra to the traditional book, i.e. the enriched content, and for early marketing,” he says. “And what’s more, it offers an invaluable test case for us. In general, crowdfunding, in which the funding usually comes through pre-orders, is certainly interesting from a publisher’s perspective as it gives an implication of the book’s appeal before the book hits the market.

Check out the Santa's Dream Kickstarter campaign here and read more about the project.


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