News 24 TV started its broadcast in March 2002 as the first 24 hours news only station in Albania. The new TV station was founded by the Italian company Edisud S.p.a, which had been operating in the Albanian market since 1993, with the publication of the daily newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare. During its first 9 years of operations, TV News 24 was under the ownership of the Albanian subsidiary Edisud Radio TV LLC, which was headed by the journalist Carlo Bollino. In May 2011, News 24 TV together with the other media of the group changed ownership and after 5.9 Million Euro deal were sold to two Albanian businessmen, Irfan Hysenbelliu and Artan Santo.
The change in ownership at the TV station and the other media of Edisud, was commented at the time as political operation headed by former Prime Minister Sali Berisha. Alba Malltezi, a former director at News 24 and wife of Carlo Bollino, accused Berisha of bringing under its control a ‘critical media outlet.
While they negotiated the sale of the holding of Edisud in Albania, Hysenbelliu and Santo founded in April 2011 the company Focus Group LLC, where each owned 50 % of the shares. Focus Group LLC is the sole owner of the company Focus Media News LLC, which owns News 24 TV, the news portal Balkanweb.com and radio Rash. Focus Group also owns Focus News Press, which owns the daily Gazeta Shqiptare. A few months after the acquisition of the companies the two businessmen transferred their shares to their daughters, Fabiola Hysenbelliu and Emi Santo, for a value of 50,000 Lek each. In October 2011, Focus Group changed ownership again, where Asllan Grezda and Bashkim Hysenbelli became owners of the shares, splitting 50% each. Grezda was a shareholder in Credins Bank, where Santo was CEO and shareholder, while Bashkim Hysenbelli is a cousin of Irfan Hysenbelliu and has no other business activity. In February 2017, Bashkim Hysenbelli became the sole owner of the company after buying the shares of Grezda for 50,000 Lek.
The changes in ownership did not shake up News 24 TV’s market share. Focusing on breaking news and very popular in public places like bars and restaurants, it remains the most watched TV station in its format in the country.
Media Companies / Groups
Focus Media Group
The TV station News 24 is owned by Focus Media News Limited Liability Company. “Focus Group” LLC is the sole shareholder of “Focus Media News” LLC. The sole shareholder (proxy) of Focus Group LLC is Bashkim Hysenbelli, the cousin of Irfan Hysenbelliu. However, Irfan Hysenbelliu presents himself as the owner and the president of the group.
Only the shareholder has the right to vote.
Affiliated Interests Founder
EDISUD LLC – is an Italian media company headquartered in the southern port city of Bari, which in 2002 was represented by President Giuseppe Lobuono. On March 26, 2002 the Italian company founded in Albania Edisud Radio TV, with a capital of 25 million Lek and active in radio and television. The legal representative of the company was Carlo Bollino, at the time a correspondent for the Italian news agency ANSA and executive manager of the Albanian daily newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare. On May 20, 2011, EDISUD sold its media holdings in Tirana, including its trademarks News 24, Gazeta Shqiptare, Milosao, Nderkombetare, Telegazeta, Blouetooth and Shqiptare, to Focus Media Group, which was owned by the late banker Artan Santo and the businessman Irfan Hysenbelliu.
Affiliated Interests Ceo
Mustafa Muço – has been a member of the Socialist Party and Minister of Economy and Privatization in the government headed by Ilir Meta in 2001. He was one of the founding members of Meta’s Socialist Movement for Integration in 2004, but later withdrew from active participation in politics. In July 2016, was named CEO of Focus Media News and continues to hold the position.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
Andi Tela – is a journalist and General Director of News 24 television. Previously, he worked in managing positions at the daily newspapers “Panorama” and “Gazeta Shqiptare”.
Affiliated Interests other important people
Eni Vasili – is a journalist and host of the show ‘Studio e Hapur’ (Open Studio.) Vasili has a long career as a political show host and anchor-woman. She previously worked for the now defunct Alsat Television and Albania’s public broadcaster, TVSH.
Ola Bruko – is an anchor-woman and moderator of talk show on social issues ‘Njerez ne Fokus’ (People in Focus).
Anila Jole – is the editor in chief of the television News 24.
Vilma Mesarea Theodhosi – is the marketing director of News 24.
Arkad Bazaiti – holds the position of Technical Director of News 24.
Rruga Ali Demi, ish-Kombinati i Autotraktorëve, Zyrat e Administratës, Tirana;
Revenue (in Mill. $)
2.2 Mio. $ / 260 Mio. Lek
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
0.0004 Mio. $ / 0.06 Mio Lek
Advertising (in % of total funding)
The ownership structure and financial statement are publicly available on the Albanian National Business Registry. The financial data provided are for 2016. The Central Bank's average exchange rate for 2016 was used to convert the amounts into USD. For the purpose of evaluating weight of assets and revenues of this company in the media market, MOM have calculated the value of assets, revenues and profits of 8 TV companies/groups with free-to-air outlets. The companies included in the calculation are as follows: Top Channel, Klan, Media Vizion, Multiscreen, Focus Media News, ABC News, Ora News and Scan. This calculation does not include the pay-per-view distributors DigitAlb, Tring TV and the Public Broadcaster RTSH. Focus Group replied to the MOM information request on 22 January 2018. Audience share for Top TV stations was provided by Abacus Research and Telemetrix for 2017, the data are conflicting that’s why both audience shares are presented. See sources for more.