In his address at the annual LATAM Media Leaders Summit 2023, de Yarza pointed out on 10 October the need for “orderly and stable” governance and a “powerful” diversification strategy as formulas for success to ensure the survival of any media company.
Under the title “Exploring new revenue streams and diversification strategies for media companies”, the President of WAN-IFRA explained the model of Henneo, a leading communications, technology and audiovisual production group, which has its origins in a regional newspaper – Heraldo de Aragón – that saw its first issue in 1895. Since then, five generations of the same family have passed through the management of this communication company. And it is precisely in this “orderly and solvent” governance that guarantees stability that de Yarza defends the key to the sustainability of his group.
But he also highlighted the commitment to diversification. Henneo went from being 100% dependent on print media for its revenue in 2006 to 24% in 2022, thanks to a strategy that has led the group to focus on technology (44%), digital media (18%) and audiovisual production (14%).
Henneo is one of Spain’s leading groups. In addition to Heraldo de Aragón, its publications include 20minutos, the economic digital newspaper La Información and Cinemanía. It also has Hiberus, a consultancy firm in the sector that has grown by 25% annually in recent years, and Factoría, the audiovisual production company that has a strategic alliance with the Colombian group TRIPTIC for the development of formats and the production of documentaries, films and fiction series in Latin America and Spain. In total, it employs more than 3,500 people and has a turnover of more than 200 million euros.
“Since the 2008 crisis, we saw that technology would be fundamental, as was audiovisual production. But we also realised that we could not be a village like Asterix, and in 2015 we leapt to the national level with the purchase of 20 minutes. Since then, we have intensified a strategy of significant alliances to join forces in the sector“, stressed De Yarza, who recalled that transversality is a hallmark of the group. “In Spain, we realised that the national media had become polarised. The success of our media is that we bring these regional values to the national media,” he insisted.
Henneo’s president also addressed challenges such as artificial intelligence and fake news and vindicated the role of the media and its resilience to face new challenges. “We are not giving up the role we have had for 200 years. Our capacity for resistance and commitment to our readers is more than proven,” said De Yarza, who insisted on the need for pure, rigorous and quality journalism.
Concerning fake news, the WAN-IFRA President called for stricter legislation in which everyone is held accountable for what they publish. “I stake all my assets on what I publish in my newspapers. We put in extra rigour because we respond with our prestige”, he reiterated.
De Yarza concluded with a hopeful message for the sector: “In the face of the apocalyptic narrative, we are still there, it is true that we have to look for sustainable models, but I am reasonably optimistic about our future”.