Management plan to buy N24

Rossmann in talks with ProSiebenSat.1

BERLIN — The management of German news channel N24 is looking to purchase the web from parent company ProSiebenSat.1.

ProSiebenSat.1 topper Thomas Ebeling said in November that the broadcasting group was considering the sale, among a number of other options, in view of the network’s weak performance.

Torsten Rossmann, N24’s managing director, told staffers at the Berlin-based channel on Tuesday that he and fellow N24 execs Frank Meissner, Karsten Wiest and Maria von Borcke planned to form a holding company with journalist and former Spiegel editor-in-chief Stefan Aust and his partner Thorsten Pollfuss as part of a management buyout.

Rossmann told Berlin daily Tagesspiegel that a successful deal depended on an agreement between N24 and ProSiebenSat.1 that would allow the news web to continue supplying the broadcasting group and its other webs, ProSieben, Sat.1 and Kabel Eins, with news programming, adding that a buyout would not be feasible without such a deal.

A commission from the broadcasting group to produce news is a necessary condition for our business model,” Rossmann said.

ProSiebenSat.1 launched N24 a decade ago, but the web has remained a money-losing enterprise for the pan-European broadcasting giant.

Ebeling has been looking for ways to lower costs at ProSiebenSat.1, which has been hit hard by sinking ad revenue, and revamping or selling off N24 is top on the list.

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