News 24

TV News 24 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 a 5.9 Million Euro deal in which the outlets 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 a 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 (which is now Radio News 24).

Focus Group also owns Focus News Press, the publishing company of 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. In December 2018, Irfan Hysenbelliu bought 100% of the Focus Group’s shares from his cousin for a minimal price of 100,000 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.

Key facts

Audience Share

XX.XX%

Ownership Type

Private

Geographic Coverage

Local (Fier, Tiranë, Durrës, Vlorë)

Content Type

Free-to-air (digital)

Active Transparency

company/channel informs proactively and comprehensively about its ownership, data is constantly updated and easily verifiable

4 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

Focus Group

Ownership

Ownership Structure

The News 24 TV Station is owned by Focus Media News LLC. “Focus Group” LLC is the sole shareholder of “Focus Media News” LLC.

Voting Rights

Only shareholders have voting rights.

Individual Owner

Media Companies / Groups
Facts

General Information

Founding Year

2002

Affiliated Interests Founder

EDISUD LLC

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 his trademarks News 24, Gazeta Shqiptare, Milosao, Nderkombetare, Telegazeta, Bluetooth and Shqiptare, to Focus Media Group, which was owned by the late banker Artan Santo and the businessman Irfan Hysenbelliu.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Ardit Cela

studied engineering and telecommunications at the University of Tirana. He has previously held the post of secretary for public affairs of the Socialist Movement for Integration and also has served as the CEO of Albania’s postal service. Cela has been a member of the Tirana city council and in the parliamentary elections of 2021 ran as an MP for the Socialist Movement for Integration. He holds the position of CEO of the Focus Media News September 2022.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Anila Jole

is the editor in chief of TV News 24. She started her career in journalism in the mid-90s at Radio Korca and continued her work as a journalist and news anchor at TV Koha, News 24 and Top Channel. Jole previously worked as editor in chief at Radio RASH and Balkanweb.

Affiliated Interests other important people

Robert Rakipllari

the Director for Information and Programming of News 24. He has a long career as a journalist, editor and political analyst in Albanian media and previously worked as editor in chief of the daily “Panorama” and “Shekulli”.

Contact

Rruga Ali Demi,

ish-Kombinati i Autotraktorëve, Zyrat e Administratës, Tirana;

Tel: +355(4)359104

Website: balkanweb.com

Financial Information

Revenue (in Mill. $)

3.06 Mln. $/ 347 Mln..Lek

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

-0.31 Mln.. $/ -35 Mln..Lek

Advertising (in % of total funding)

Missing Data

Market Share

5.8%

Further Information

Meta Data

The ownership structure and financial statement are publicly available on the Albanian National Business Registry. The financial data provided are for 2022. The Central Bank's average exchange rate for 2022 was used to convert the amounts into USD. Focus Media News replied to the MOM information request on 27 July 2023. See sources for more. Audience share for Top TV stations was provided by Idra Media, for the period of 8 May 2022 to 8 May 2023.

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    BIRN ALBANIA
  •  
    Global Media Registry
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    Funded by European Union