In Spain, a new director at the head of the newspaper “El Pais”

This is the third change at the head of the daily El Pais in four years. The leading Spanish newspaper, owned by the Prisa group (which owns 20% of Le Monde Libre, the company that controls Le Monde Group), announced on July 27 the appointment of 57-year-old senior journalist Pepa Bueno as news director. Former presenter of the evening news on public television (TVE) in the 2000s, the journalist, marked on the left, has since 2012 been one of the main voices of the leading radio station in Spain, Cadena Ser.

Already member of the editorial board ofEl Pais, she succeeds Javier Moreno, who remained in office barely a year. This one had taken the continuation of Soledad Gallego-Diaz, journalist “historical” ofEl Pais, former anti-Franco activist who became the first woman to lead the daily, between 2018 and 2020. Thursday, July 29, in a non-binding vote, the editorial committee approved the appointment of Pepa Bueno. The board of directors, chaired by the French financier based in London Joseph Oughourlian, main shareholder of Prisa through his investment fund Amber Capital (which holds 30% of the capital), will have to ratify it again.

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“These changes complete the editorial reorganization process of Prisa Media, whose objective is a transmedia, coordinated management of all its assets, both radio and print media, based on transversal platforms”, has already explained the group in a press release. This appointment is especially part of a profound reshuffle of the Prisa group, wanted by Mr. Oughourlian to draw a line from the era of Juan Luis Cebrian, all-powerful co-founder and director ofEl Pais, then from the Prisa group.

Repositioning to the left

Shareholder since 2016, the French financier has not ceased since, that he has not straightened out the company, weighed down by colossal debts, the result of deficient management and the disproportionate ambition of Mr. Cebrian, which he is managed to get sacked in 2018. Became president of Prisa in December 2020, Mr. Oughourlian accelerated the reorganization of the group after Vivendi’s entry into the capital of Prisa in January, which enabled him to obtain a majority on the board administration, also thanks to the support of the Spanish telecommunications group Telefonica.

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The movements operated by Prisa in recent months also consist in repositioning the group on the left. In 2018, the appointment of Mme Gallego-Diaz had already signed the end of the newspaper’s most controversial stage, when, between 2014 and 2018, its editorial line had turned to the right under the rule of its then director, the journalist Antonio Caño, appointed by Juan Luis Cebrian in a context of rapprochement with the Popular Party (right) of Mariano Rajoy, then in power.

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