We are still a relatively young, forward-looking media group. In all the countries where we are active, our influential news brands have deep roots in the history and local social life. We combine the power of innovation with true respect for the tradition of all our brands.
Het Algemeen Belang der Provincie Limburg
On 6 December 1879 Nicolaas Theelen in Tongeren publishes the first issue of the local weekly newspaper Het Algemeen Belang der Provincie Limburg. Theelen is a publisher and journalist and owns a drawing and office supplies shop with his wife Eugenie Michiels and a commercial printing company, Sint-Maternus.
First edition of Gazet van Antwerpen
On 3 November 1891 the first edition of Gazet van Antwerpen is published in Antwerp on the banks of the Scheldt river. The initiator is Jan-Baptist Napolitaan Van Os, who has a commercial printing company in the city. In the first year of publication, the newspaper has an average circulation of 7,600 copies a day. Barely four years later, that number has risen to 40,000. Van Os sees his newspaper mainly as a means ‘to spread Catholic ideas’ and a ‘battle tool against the Beggars’.
First edition of De Standaard
The first attempts to publish a Catholic, Flemish daily newspaper in Brussels date back to 1914 when, under the impulse of F. Van Cauwelaert, A. van de Perre and A. Hendrix, nv De Standaard is founded. Due to the war, the first edition of De Standaard is not published until 4 December 1918; it has two pages and costs 10 centimes.
Antwerp edition of De Standaard
In 1921 De Handelsbode, an Antwerp edition of De Standaard is launched, later renamed Morgenpost. To increase the output of the printing presses further, other printing orders are collected from 1922 onwards.
As a result of these expansions, more money is needed, provided by Gustaaf Sap, who has been a member of the board since 1919.
First edition of Het Nieuwsblad
Sap acquires the majority of the shares in 1927 and two years later launches a daily newspaper with a more popular tone: Het Nieuwsblad. Het Nieuwsblad is a success from the start and in 1939 takes the popular Sportwereld under its wings.
Dream becomes reality: Het Belang van Limburg
Frans Theelen achieves his father’s old dream: he merges the weekly magazines into a daily newspaper, Het Belang van Limburg. The newspaper enjoys steady growth and actively participates in Limburg’s general emancipation and economic development.
Acquisitions and further growth
At the end of the 1950s, De Standard Group starts expanding and takes over a number of other newspapers.
In 1957, the Antwerp publishing company of Het Handelsblad is acquired. After the take-over, the newspaper becomes a localised edition of Het Nieuwsblad before finally disappearing in 1979. In 1957, the Standard Group acquires its main Brussels competitor, Het Nieuws van den Dag, which then also merges with Het Nieuwsblad in 1965.
The expansion is completed in 1959 with the take-over of De Gentenaar and De Landwacht as well as their printing works. After the take-over, De Landwacht will disappear as a title. Today De Gentenaar has its own editorial team responsible for urban and regional reporting, while the general news is taken from Het Nieuwsblad.
In the 1960s and early 70s, the company develops into a strong player in the newspaper, magazine, printing and book market. The company invests heavily in new publications and machines. CEO Albert De Smaele also diversifies into non-media companies, particularly in the tourism sector.
Gazet van Antwerpen writes Belgian newspaper history with a publication that has a record 64 pages. This achievement is repeated nine years later with a publication of 80 pages.
Four colours revolution
Het Belang van Limburg is published in four colours for the first time, a first in Belgium.
In the mid-1970s, Albert De Smaele’s expansion drive is too ambitious. Like so many companies, De Standaard Group cannot escape the fatal consequences of the economic crisis at the time.
In May 1976 the commercial printing company nv Periodica is declared bankrupt and on 22 June the rest of De Standard Group follows. The editorial staff sees the storm brewing and sets up the non-profit organisation ‘De Standaard editorial team’ a few weeks before the bankruptcy to safeguard the group’s traditions against buyers.
Take-over of Het Volk
The acquisition in November 1994 of nv Het Volk is a first important milestone in the history of VUM.
The roots of Het Volk go back to the congress of Catholic politicians in 1890 where it was decided to set up a daily newspaper in Ghent as a counterbalance to the successful socialist publication Vooruit. The first edition of Het Volk rolls off the presses on 22 June 1891 and is sold after Mass as an ‘anti-socialist newspaper’.
The Ghent newspaper focuses on sports, in particular cycling races. In 1945 the cycling race Omloop Het Volk is held for the first time.
At the end of the 1980s, however, Het Volk is struggling. In September 1994, the ACV management confirms that a buyer is being sought for Het Volk. Most Flemish media groups show interest but in November 1994 VUM emerges as the winner.
The printing activities and editorial team of Het Volk move to Groot-Bijgaarden in November 2000.
Het Volk is published for the last time on 9 May 2008 and the newspaper merges with Het Nieuwsblad.
After the merger of Concentra and De Vlijt, the Regionale Uitgeversgroep is founded in 1996. The company mainly focuses on its regional strengths. Het Belang van Limburg and Gazet van Antwerpen are the flagships of a media group that is the market leader in the provinces of Limburg and Antwerp.
Birth of Corelio
In June 2006, in the week when the VUM celebrates its 30th anniversary, the board of directors decides to operate under a new name from 1 September 2006: Corelio.
The first part ‘core’ refers to the essence: a media presence at the core of society, the heart of the regions. The second part ‘relio’ refers to ‘reliable’. The new name emphasises not only the solidity and quality of the group’s products, but also the trust it enjoys from customers, business relations and partners. Finally, ‘lio’ refers to ‘link’. Corelio emphasises the importance it attaches to dialogue and interaction with its customers and partners in the broadest sense of the word: readers, internet users, listeners, viewers, advertisers…
Corelio and Concentra join forces
Corelio and Concentra set up Mediahuis together. The news brands of both publishers (Gazet van Antwerpen, Het Belang van Limburg, De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad / De Gentenaar), the classifieds activities (Jobat, Hebbes, Zimmo, Vroom, Koopjeskrant) and also The Bulletin, the free magazine Jet, Content Connections and the websites Xpats, She, Vief, Autokanaal and the Made in’s are given a place in the new media company.
Mediahuis takes over NRC Media
Mediahuis Nederland BV, subsidiary of the Belgian Mediahuis, takes over NRC Media Holding. NRC is the publisher of the NRC Handelsblad evening paper, the morning paper nrc.next, nrc.nl and various webshops and apps. With this acquisition, Mediahuis is gaining a strong foothold in the Netherlands.
Mediahuis stronger at multimedia level and in the Netherlands
A number of companies and participations, which after the establishment of Mediahuis remained with Corelio and Concentra, are transferred to Mediahuis. This concerns Media Groep Limburg (MGL), publisher of De Limburger, radio station Nostalgie, regional TV stations ATV, TV Limburg, TV Oost and ROB TV, Printing Partners Paal-Beringen and Brussels and the participations in Mass Transit Media (Metro) and De Vijver Media (SBS with the TV stations VIER, VIJF and ZES and the production house Woestijnvis). These steps strengthen Mediahuis’s position in the Netherlands and on the audio-visual market in Belgium.
Mediahuis acquires Telegraaf Media Groep
After long negotiations, Mediahuis takes over the Dutch Telegraaf Media Groep (TMG). With this transaction, Mediahuis stabilises its position as a leading multimedia group in the Netherlands and Belgium. VP Exploitatie is the third shareholder.
Mediahuis acquires 100% shareholding in Wayne Parker Kent
Mediahuis and Wayne Parker Kent (WPK), one of the fastest-growing digital media companies in the Netherlands, reach an agreement in principle concerning the takeover of WPK by Mediahuis. Both parties will join forces focusing on the Dutch advertising market.
Mediahuis joins forces with Jellow
Mediahuis enters a partnership with Jellow, the Dutch online matching platform for freelancers. Jellow focuses on freelance employment; this makes the platform complementary to Jobat, which is dedicated to the market for permanent employment.
New radio broadcaster NRJ
SBS Media Belgium, a collaboration between Mediahuis and De Vijver Media, is starting FM broadcasting of a new Flemish radio from Antwerp, aimed at active city dwellers: NRJ. Via core cities in all the provinces, the channel has a theoretical FM reach to 65% of the Flemish population. NRJ aims at active listeners (target group 14-44), and focuses on their lives and popular music in the Flemish cities.
Mediahuis expands its geographical footprint
The takeover of the Irish media group Independent News & Media by Mediahuis is successfully completed before the summer of 2019.
Mediahuis participates in Mather Economics
Mediahuis enters into a strategic partnership with Mather Economics, an American consultancy specialising in yield management, i.e. the optimisation of sales and pricing strategies in order to maximise turnover and margins. Mediahuis acquires 35% of the shares. This participation allows Mediahuis to enter the media technology market.
Media house acquires Saint-Paul Luxembourg
Mediahuis acquires Saint-Paul Luxembourg, the largest media group in Luxembourg and publisher of, among others, the quality newspaper Luxemburger Wort.
Mediahuis participates in Lepaya
Mediahuis acquires a stake in Dutch company Lepaya, a start-up specialising in soft skills training. Through this transaction, Mediahuis takes its first step into the training technology market.
Mediahuis acquires Cartell.ie
In Ireland, Mediahuis, via Independent News & Media, acquires Cartell.ie. The company is market leader in the field of data for the automotive sector.
Mediahuis takes over NDC mediagroep
At the end of 2020, Mediahuis will get the green light for the takeover of NDC mediagroep, publisher of the newspapers Dagblad van het Noorden, Leeuwarder Courant, Friesch Dagblad and dozens of regional news and weeklies in the North Netherlands.
Mediahuis takes over Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft
Mediahuis acquires the German media group Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft (AVG), publisher of the newspapers Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten. The acquisition of AVG is a logical step for Mediahuis that fits in with the growth ambition to further evolve into an important European media player.