Lőrinc Mészáros needs no introduction. He is a business savant, a tycoon, a publisher, a construction guru, a modern-day Genghis Khan of public procurements. We have written a lot about Mészáros, his obscure relationship with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and his uncanny ability to feed at Hungary’s public trough. Earlier today, we reported that the Lorenzo de’ Mészáros is a front-runner to buy Hungary’s second-largest power plant.
Only an hour later, it was revealed via 24.hu that statistics on the Hungarian media authority’s website show that the Mészáros media empire publishes 192 newspapers in Hungary.
192 and growing
Of the 192 papers, 141 are published by Mediaworks Hungary Zrt., 32 are published by Pannon Lapok, and 19 are published by Maraton, all interests controlled by Mészáros. He also recently acquired a television station (Echo TV), and rumors abound that he isn’t anywhere near finished gobbling up media products. Rumors also indicate that Mészáros still has his eye on a number of other county newspapers, the vast majority of which are owned by interests tied to the Fidesz government.
The advertising market is also working in Mészáros’ favor at the moment by blanketing the country in state propaganda supporting the government’s “Let’s Stop Brussels” campaign.
Mészáros jumped 26 places to become Hungary’s fifth wealthiest person this year.