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Heti Válasz shuts down

June 8th, 2018

The highest circulation conservative weekly owned by the media mogul Lajos Simicska closes down after announcing insolvency.  The editor ascribes the failure of his weekly to the hostile political environment.

In Heti Válasz, editor-in-chief Gábor Borókai announces the closing down of the conservative weekly. Borókai explains that they have not succeeded in finding an investor that would purchase Heti Válasz from media mogul Lajos Simicska, who after the April election decided not to finance the operation of print media outlets in his ownership (see BudaPost April 12, 2018). Borókai explains that Heti Válasz lost more than 80 per cent of its advertisement revenue after Lajos Simicska declared war on the government, despite the fact that Heti Válasz has retained its conservative, but critical stance rather than becoming an anti-government propaganda outlet. Borókai suggests that commercial companies in Hungary fear government retaliation, and thus were discouraged from buying advertising space in Heti Válasz. He goes on to allege that potential Hungarian and international investors interested in taking over the weekly changed their mind fearing government pressure. Borókai writes that Heti Válasz will continue to be published online until the bankruptcy proceedings conclude, and in the meantime, his team will do its best to find an investor and resume normal operation.

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