Iceland’s DV newspaper sold

dagblöðinIcelandic newspaper DV has been sold to a group of investors including its own joint editor.

DV.is reports that a group of investors passionate about independent and unaffiliated media has bought DV and DV.is from the Birtingur publishing house, owned by Hreinn Loftsson. A new limited company, DV ehf., has been established with enough capital to support the paper during the continued temporary recession in the advertising market.

The new company will ensure that owners’ influence on editorial content is unusually low – and part of this ethos is illustrated by a rule forbidding any single shareholder to hold more than 26 percent of the board’s vote, regardless of number of shares held. A clearer distinction between company management and editors has been put in place and a larger majority will now be needed to change important rules.

The change in DV’s ownership will take place on 1st April. The two editors Reynir Traustsson and Jon Trausti Reynisson and their current writing staff will remain and Reynir Traustsson is now one of the two largest owners. The other is Lilja Skaftadottir, an art dealer who lives in Iceland and France and has little previous experience in the Icelandic business market.

DV.is reports that a comprehensive list of shareholders will be published after Easter and that it will be available online as well.

DV is Iceland’s oldest surviving newspaper which has had a large succession of different owners and has been on the brink of bankruptcy since the 1990s. It is, however, doing comparatively well at the moment, with many in Iceland saying it has been the only newspaper willing to conduct real investigative journalism against implicated politicians and businessmen.