Sanoma, Talpa nearing SBS deal
Executives from publishing group Sanoma and tv-producers Talpa have spoken in the last few weeks about the tension around their cooperation as shareholders of SBS Nederland. In the Netherlands as well as in Finland, both companies have tried to smooth over the rough patches. According to sources from the Financieele Dagblad, however, this has only worked in part. "This has not yet led to concrete agreements about a new form of teamwork", the paper concludes. There would be discussions about the manner in which they will collectively try to get the ailing broadcasting group SBS Nederland back on the rails.
Last year, tension rose between the two stakeholders when it appeared that minority shareholder Talpa (33 percent) wanted to buy out the Finnish publishing group Sanoma (67 percent). Sanoma wanted more control over the programming of the SBS-channels and wanted to dismiss programme boss Remko Van Westerloo. The sources say that Van Westerloo is in any case allowed to stay where he is. Sanoma could have axed Van Westerloo on the basis of bad viewing figures over 2013, but John De Mol's Talpa then had the right to choose a successor. Sanoma didn't want new problems and chose to leave the programme exec alone. The good viewership for the start of the new year - thanks to Talpa's Utopia - came in handy this time. Sanoma still believes that the channels "should be improved by programme." Sanoma also wants more control over the programming of SBS6, Net 5 and Veronica. It is reported that Talpa added concerns about the need for transparency on this area. Related Story: De Mol Pressuring Sanoma To Sell SBS