A Huffington Post for Europe

A Huffington Post style start-up news site is up and running in Germany with plans later for an English version apparently in the pipeline.

Techcrunch reports that German Web 2.0 figure Lukasz Gadowski, who was previously behind online t-shirt firm Spreadshirt.com, is one of those behind online publishing venture that is going to be a kind of Huffington Post in Europe.

It’s called The European. Yes, the same name used by Robert Maxwell for his newspaper way back when, which was later revised and died several times under Andrew Neil and the Telegraph Group’s Press Holdings. The last incarnation of that was when Neil relaunched The European as a website. It didn’t last long. That was, of course, way before blogging.

Techcrunch reports that the site has/will have more than 20 journalists and possible contributions from the likes of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, German car producers association’s president Matthias Wissmann or bishop Margot Käßmann.

Chief editor Alexander Görlach, who holds 50% of the company alongside Gadowski, reveals traffic is rising (from first day numbers of “5,000 readers and 30,000 page impressions”) and that first month revenues are three times bigger than originally scheduled in the business plan.

The Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau recently said in an interview that it had ruled out European versions despite being approached: “It’s not an international strategy, almost every week some pretty big organization would like to partner with us,” Hippeau said.

The UK is its biggest market and it is surprising that no one has tried a Huffington Post here (and they have ruled it out themselves).

Clearly, the market is a lot smaller and a lot of our newspapers have great blogging operations, but that said it feels like there is a gap there for an uber blog or two.

Unless after the demise of the likes of Shiny Media and other blogging operations there really is no money out there for what could be an expensive blogging operation to start-up.

 

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  • Ashley Norris

    The big problem a UK HuffPo would face would be funding. VCs very rarely seem to fund UK content based start ups unless they have some impressive tech on board. There have only been a handful over the years (Magicalia and Shiny are the two most high profile). I think this because established media is so strong in the UK and there’s also the BBC which is obviously hugely influential online. There have been some content companies which have pulled off impressive exits over the years but this have been in niche rather than mainstream markets.

    Incidentally Shiny Media has now been split into two sections. Aigua Media has several of its fashion websites while Shiny Digital has its biggest fashion title, its two tech titles and the lifesytle sites. I resigned as CEO of the company in Oct 2007 after disagreements with the other founders and investors, but since August this year have been the CEO of Shiny Digital. After a quiet period several of our websites are now starting to show impressive growth.

    I think there are great opportunities for independent new media in the UK, however things are certainly tougher for new media entrepreneurs than they are in the US.

  • Gordon Macmillan

    Thanks Ashley, missed the development at Shiny, but glad to hear that it is progressing well. Some good blogs came out of Shiny.

    It is a shame that investment money is so hard to come by, but as you say the BBC and our national press is very strong digitally.

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