Magyar Nemzet reports Árpád Habony’s media company, Modern Media Group Zrt., will be launching a free daily newspaper that will challenge the Simicska-owned Metropol. The announcement was made at the Media Hungary 2016 conference in Siófok by Modern Media Group CEO Péter Keresztesi.
Modern Media Group also owns 888.hu and the free weekly tabloid Lokál.
Keresztesi’s ties to Fidesz are tight. According to Magyar Nemzet, Keresztesi was Századvég’s director of communications and marketing and also served as an executive at Napi Gazdaság Kiadó Kft. (that was later sold and rebranded as Magyar Idők, but continues to be very pro-government).
Keresztesi says the new print daily will be launched on June 6th. The 150,000 copies will be distributed at 300 points in public squares and public transportation spots.
Metropol CEO Péter Hivatal says his company has known about the launching and timing of Habony’s new free tabloid.
“They will bring a tabloid paper. We, on the other hand, offer content that is general information,” Hivatal said before pointing out that Metropol has a neutral position in how it presents news.
Hivatal does not appear to be too worried about facing a challenger in the free daily newspaper arena. However, it remains to be seen whether the Budapest Transit Authority continues to allow Metropol to distribute its newspapers at subway stations