UK-based news services company DMA Media, which helped launch BBC Persia and runs 24-hour TV station Iran International, has expanded into Brussels with the buyout of Headline NFP.
The deal, made for an undisclosed sum, was announced yesterday.
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Headline NFP provides satellite trucks, camera crews and a live location near the European Union Commission and Council to news outlets. It lists the BBC, Al Jazeera and Euro News among its clients on its website.
DMA Media offers news providers everything from recruitment through to technical support. It launched and manages Persian-language TV station Iran International, supplying some 200 operations and editorial staff.
The company and Iran International denied that it had funding links with Saudi Arabia after a Guardian report quoted a source claiming Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as the “force behind” the broadcaster.
DMA Media chief executive Rob Beynon said: “There’s nobody better at doing news than Headline NFP. They have the technology, the inventiveness and the facilities to keep the most demanding broadcasters in the middle of the Europe story, reliably and efficiently.
“I’ve known Headline NFP for many years, and its team of camera operators, editors, producers and engineers are world class – and they match DMA Media Group for unrivalled client service.
“We hope we can build on that reputation and extend Headline’s reach into new markets all over the world.”
Headline NFP founder Hans Deforce added: “This is a win-win for Headline NFP and the DMA Media Group. It means we can now use our expertise and resources for news broadcasters everywhere.
“The industry is changing very fast, and we will continue to strive to be ahead of things, as we have been for 20 years. With the extra resources of the DMA Media Group, we’ll be looking at a new era of expansion for Headline.”
DMA Media also runs branded content production and distribution service The News Market, which counts IKEA, car manufacturer Bugatti and accounting giant PWC among its clients.
Iran International is owned by Volant Media UK, a private limited company based in London.
In a statement first sent to the Guardian and seen by Press Gazette, DMA Media said the company’s shareholders are private individuals. It said it has “no connection to Mohammed bin Salman or the Saudi government (or any government, including that of Iran)”.
It added: “Iran International is a public service news channel, which represents the views and politics of the widest range of Iranian viewers, and it does not advocate any movement or party or government. It abides by its editorial guidelines, which are published in English and Farsi on its website.
“The channel is run by its editorial management team and is not subject to external interference, as is clear from its output and coverage.”
The firm added that it had never “sought to disguise” who owns Iran International, and that the station would “continue to broadcast news and information for all Iranians, in a transparent, impartial and accountable way, and believes the growth of its audiences and their positive response is the best testimony to its value”.
Picture: Iran International