Marek Španěl, the co-founder of the Bohemia Interactive game studio, has become the new majority owner of the Echo Media publishing house, which operates the Echo24 daily and the Echo Weekly. He bought a majority stake in Rudolf Ovčaří, the original financial investor of the publishing house. Echo said this in a press release today.
“I am a long-time subscriber and supporter of Echo. I perceive the usefulness of Echo for society, and I want to contribute to its further development as an autonomous, independent, and free medium.
The founder and editor-in-chief of Echa, Dalibor Balšínek, will head the publishing house and become the chairman of the board of directors and a shareholder of the publishing house.
“Marek Španěl is an ideal type of majority shareholder for Echo. He is a self-academic. He built a world-class development company from a garage. He did not do business with the state, which is vital for an independent medium. Like Jeff Bezos took over the Washington Post. But it is based on a right-wing and conservative value base, “said Balšínek.
The Echo Media publishing house was established in 2014 when it first introduced the opinion daily, Echo24, and a few months later began publishing the Echo Weekly. After two years, the publishing house came up with a fully paid EchoPrime server, a daily EchoMonitor media monitor, and in recent years has also started publishing books. Echo24 is one of the ten largest news websites in the country, with two million users per month and has more than 13,500 subscribers. Some of them have owned a small part of the publisher’s shares since last year.
Last year, the largest Czech game studio Bohemia Interactive increased its profit by 43 percent to 608 million crowns. Revenues rose by one-tenth to CZK 1.1 billion.