CARACAS, Saturday July 05, 2014 | Update
MEDIA | Epalisticia enters the shareholding structure

A new era has begun for El Universal

"Investment in newspaper companies prepared and eager for fast online development and able to find a niche in the market as leaders in their respective segments" is among the goals of Epalisticia, as pointed out on the firm website

El Universal will retain its leadership on Venezuelan media (File photo)
Saturday July 05, 2014  06:31 AM
One hundred and five years after its foundation, El Universal gets ready to begin a new era following a change in its shareholding structure. From now on, the Spanish investment firm Epalisticia joins the daily newspaper, presided over by Engineer Jesús Abreu Anselmi.

Epalisticia is an investment firm based in Madrid and focused on oil, real estate and media. Two members of its board of directors, Eduardo López de la Osa and José Antonio de la Torre, had probed into the Venezuelan market for more than one year. After sorting out several alternatives, both on media and other areas, they opted for a company with more and better development potentials.

"Investment in newspaper companies prepared and eager for fast online development and able to find a niche in the market as leaders in their respective segments" is among the goals of Epalisticia, as pointed out on the firm website.

Founded in 1909, El Universal came out to the streets in a four-page edition under a principle set by its first editor, poet Andrés Mata. Such principle has remained "as is" for over a century: freedom of expression.

Thereafter, under the management of his grandson, Andrés Mata Osorio, the daily newspaper broke new ground and got access to state-of-the-art technology platforms. This confirmed another fundamental principle in the editorial line, as cited on Friday by Abreu Anselmi during his meeting with the in-house staff: "The product remains the same: an arena where several national political trends have their breathing space; where the two sides of the coin will be always shown, and whose financial good standing will ensure its impartiality, outside the pressure of parties or any person."

Fifteen years later, during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the daily newspaper, Mata himself posed an axiom that helped strike the balance and preserve the genuine vision of reality turned into information:  "Control of the access to information does not imply control of reality. Just because you own a daily newspaper does not mean that you can change the conditions prevailing in the streets. If you fail to put in somebody else shoes and covey the sensation of a false reality, readers will dump you, for they are keenly aware of their reality."

Such foundations will continue forming an integral part of the ethical base of the only possible commitment in a media outlet, which relies on search and conveyance of truth and its distinct, sometimes contradictory, angles.

After protracted negotiations that lingered months, the Mata family opened the doors to a new shareholder in the newspaper. Don Jesús Abreu Anselmi, as our plenipotentiary agent, will take over as CEO with an agenda stuffed with projects and interesting proposals for regional growth, diversification and streamlining. In 1994, Don Andrés Mata Heuer, the emeritus president, bequeathed on Andrés Mata Osorio the functions of editor. Now, he will remain tied to the newspaper strategic course.

Epalisticia displays a wide array of investments in realty, energy and media scattered about the Ibero-American map.

El Universal, a multi-purpose national newspaper, is among the journals with the largest printing run in Venezuela. The 105-year-old newspaper incorporated in 1909 is one of the deans of the Venezuelan press and a leading light in the dissemination of democratic values.

The payroll of managers, collaborators and columnists of El Universal includes highly reputed authors in Venezuelan journalism. Hence, their information, analyses and assessments are a baseline in the formation of public opinion and free expression.

Equipped with these sound foundations and its network of international alliances, Epalisticia brings a long-term generation plan and the introduction of high-tech innovations that will speed up the steps at digitalization taken some years ago, beyond mere financial contribution, and nailing down the leadership of El Universal on Venezuelan media.

A pioneer in technology platforms

El is the leading journal on Internet. Born in 1996, the digital platform has pioneered the coverage of major events.

Also, displays versions for mobile phones and tablets (Ipad and Android).

As regards social networks, El Universal Twitter account has more than 2,800,000 followers. Add to this 615,000 Facebook fans; 10,895 users on Instagram and 283 followers on Pinterest.

Direct digital audience reaches 20,700,000 followers a month and almost four million a day.

@EUtrafico is the leading service account in traffic reporting in Venezuela.