Hungarian left-wing newspaper Népszava (People’s Voice) has been sold to Swiss-owned Marquard Média, reports mno.hu. News of the sale broke less than a week after the sudden closure of Hungary’s other left-wing print daily, Népszabadság, and its online edition, nol.hu.
The sale reportedly comes after months of negotiations between the buyer and seller. Employees, some of who will be laid off, were notified of the change in ownership at a meeting on Thursday.
Next week representatives of Marquard Média will inform the 50-member editorial news staff which employees will stay on and which will be let go.
Marquard also publishes Joy, InStyle, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, Playboy and Éva Magazin.
The sale does not actually affect Népszava Lapkiadó Kft. but rather the publishing rights of the paper, which are currently held by TGD Intermedia SA, a company tied to former Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) politician and treasurer László Puch.
Once the publishing rights are transferred to the owner, Népszava Kft. will reportedly be wound up.
“It’s a miracle that Népszava could be published every day,” Népszava director Elza Láposi told mno.hu. The paper had been struggling financially for years, had let employees go, and even cut salaries, says Láposi, who plans to resign.
There is currently no information regarding the number of people who will be affected by the layoffs, said Népszava’s editor-in-chief Péter Németh. The new owner has reportedly promised to keep some staff and provide severance compensation for those to be sacked.