The unit currently consists of Shifter Media, in which Schibsted acquired a 51% ownership stake before the summer. From January 1, 2024, ownership of Fri Flyt will also be transferred from VG to the new unit.
“In recent years, we have seen significant growth in specialised niche media, and it is natural for Schibsted News Media to explore the opportunities within this market. This will strengthen and complement our portfolio of strong news media,” says Sarah Sørheim.
She will lead the new niche unit in Schibsted News Media and is the chair of the board at Shifter and the incoming chair of Fri Flyt. Niche publications operate on a different growth model than major media houses, which means there are clear advantages to developing these products within a single unified unit.
“Niche media requires a slightly different approach to both sales and marketing compared to our other news media outlets, which are intended for a broader audience. They also have different technological and organisational needs,” says Sørheim.
Øyvind Brenne, outgoing chairman and development editor at VG, says it has been a pleasure to have Fri Flyt within VG.
“Together, we have achieved a lot in terms of digitalisation and journalism that has reached a broad national audience. As Fri Flyt moves forward in an even more targeted direction towards its audience, the new niche unit provides the best conditions for the company,” says Brenne.
Siv Juvik Tveitnes, Executive Vice President for Schibsted News Media, believes that the challenging times in the media industry make it more important than ever to identify new opportunities.
“At Schibsted, we strongly believe in investing in quality journalism and see exciting growth opportunities for specialised editorial products in the future,” says Tveitnes.