New owner to pull plug on Tele24

Web's parent co. Belcom sold to Tamedia

ZURICH — Switzerland’s first private national web, 3-year-old Tele24, is set to shutter.

TV and radio pioneer Roger Schawinski and minority partner Credit Suisse First Boston have sold the web’s parent company, Belcom, to Zurich media conglom Tamedia in a deal worth 92 million Swiss francs ($56 million).

Tamedia owns TV3, the only other private national channel, and is expected to close Tele24, but Schawinski’s 7-year-old local web TeleZuri and private radio station Radio24 will remain operational.

Tamedia CEO Michel Favre said he is confident he will gain government approval for the deal.

Schawinski has fought for more liberal media legislation in the country since founding Radio24 22 years ago. He has accused the government of holding back private webs with restrictive rules, especially on the minutes per day allotted to commercials.

New media laws are being prepped in Switzerland, but insiders say proposals do not look much better for private channels.

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