APA-CEO Clemens Pig: “Independent news agencies are journalistic beacons and cooperative platforms” – 2022: Launch of media login “MediaKey” and APA-NewsDesk
A digital offensive in journalism, new communication platforms and major IT orders provided a strong boost in growth for APA – Austria Press Agency in its 75th year as an independent media-owned cooperative news agency group. The annual report for 2021 was presented at the annual general meeting on 15 June. Consolidated revenue was EUR 70.86 million compared to EUR 67.81 million in 2020, with revenue growth totalling 4.5 percent. The operating result (EBIT) of APA-Group was EUR 3.82 million in 2021 compared to EUR 5.05 million the year before. The profit on ordinary activities (POA) totalled EUR 3.43 million compared to EUR 3.72 million (2020). The average number of full time-equivalent staff employed by the Group was 500 compared to 503.
At the presentation of the 2021 annual report, APA CEO and EANA President Clemens Pig referred to “independent news agencies such as APA as journalistic beacons in confusing times and as cooperative platforms of the media and communication industry in the digital transformation. We have declared APA’s editorial independence as a business model and will combine any multimedia content with the appropriate technology and platform for our customers. That’s APA’s cooperative digital code,” Pig said at APA’s shareholders meeting.
New platforms: Media login “MediaKey” and APA-NewsDesk as a successor to AOM
A joint cross-media login project begun in 2021 will be launched in September 2022. “MediaKey” will provide all users of the participating media (ORF, publishers, Austria-Kiosk) with easy and legally secure access to the respective digital offers. The soft launch is to take place in September with a gradual expansion of features, content, and participating media. Following extensive planning phases in 2021, APA-NewsDesk will also be introduced as a prototype in the current year as the platform succeeding APA-OnlineManager. It offers innovative, forward-looking application options for the professional media and communications market in Austria.
“#APA-Playbook Digital Media” – a separate programme for implementing the second half of the corporate strategy “Total Digital” – places the spotlight on APA’s digital transformation in 2022 with a focus on concrete customer benefits. The strategic area of “trust and verification” is of especially importance for a national independent news agency to make a contribution against disinformation and fake news. The APA fact-checking team was internationally certified by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) in 2021. In order to further expand its solid economic basis, another step towards internationalisation was taken in Switzerland at the beginning of the year with the founding of “Swiss Digital Media Services AG” and “Gentics Software AG”.
Independence and stability
APA Chairman of the Board of Directors Hermann Petz and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Roland Weißmann pointed out at the annual general meeting: “In momentous times such as these, it becomes clear how important stable and independent media are for democracy and society. Our pleasing annual report underlines the importance of APA as a comprehensive information provider as well as a digital transformation platform for the domestic communications industry and beyond. We would like to extend our thanks particularly to all employees in the companies of APA-Group for their contribution to APA’s successful financial year.”
“All areas of APA-Group made a significant contribution to the company’s positive economic and digital development and to APA’s overarching goal of independent, fact-based and reliable agency journalism in the 2021 financial year. The challenges in this second year of the pandemic were considerable, and our heartfelt thanks go to all of our employees, who have done an outstanding job,” APA-CEO Clemens Pig and Managing Director Karin Thiller said.
Mandate extensions and personnel-related information in the APA decision-making bodies
At the annual general meeting of APA the mandates on the board of directors for Alexander Mitteräcker (Der Standard) and Clemens Pig (APA) were confirmed for another three years. On the supervisory board Markus Raith (Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung) was re-elected for an additional three years. Thomas Prantner (ORF) prematurely resigned from his mandate on the board of directors at the end of the meetings. Prantner was active in various positions in the APA decision-making bodies for more than ten years, most recently as deputy chairman of the board of directors. He will be succeeded by Eva Schindlauer (ORF) as a new member of the board of directors. Ingrid Thurnher (ORF) was elected deputy CEO at a constituent meeting. The executive committee of the APA board of directors consists of Hermann Petz (Tiroler Tageszeitung) as chairman, Eugen A. Russ (Vorarlberger Nachrichten) and Ingrid Thurnher (ORF) as deputy chairpersons as well as Clemens Pig (APA) as chairman. The executive committee of the supervisory board still comprises Roland Weißmann (ORF) as chairman and Thomas Kralinger (Kurier) and Markus Mair (Styria) as deputy chairmen.