The Vecernje Novosti daily was established in 1953 as an “evening”, semi-tabloid style newspaper, reporting about news and events of the current day. Over the years, it became one of the dailies with the highest circulation in Serbia. The Vecernje Novosti editorial policy was right wing and nationalistic in orientation, which was especially visible during the 1980s and the 1990s, during the break up of Yugoslavia. For example, in 1986 Novosti published parts of the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) on the endangered position of Serbia and Serbs in Yugoslavia, which later served as an ideological underpinning for the rise of Serbian nationalism in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
During the 1990s Novosti was a pro-government newspaper, under the control of Slobodan Milosevic’s authoritarian regime. After the democratic changes in 2000 and the transition to a democratic political system, Vecernje Novosti embarked on internal changes, particularly in terms of its ownership structure. The privatization of Vecernje Novosti still counts as one of the murkiest in the country, so much so that the European Union demanded Serbia should investigate this particular case. The scarce information that is available to the public regarding the privatization of Novosti shows that in 2006 Milan Beko, a Serbian businessman and former minister in Slobodan Milosevic’s era, bought a controlling stake in Novosti through a network of companies. Later, it was discovered that Germany – based WAZ Media Group (WAZ), which owned Politika and Dnevnik at the time, was involved in the privatization of Novosti, along with controversial businessman Stanko Subotic. Subotic openly claimed that WAZ provided funds for the purchase of Novosti, but that shares were never transferred to the German company. WAZ eventually exited from the Serbian media market in 2012.
The complicated network of Vecernje Novosti owners and shareholders is also linked to Miroslav Bogicevic. This controversial businessman, who was particularly successful during the period when the Democratic Party (DS) was in power, bought the newspaper Politika because, in his words, people from the Democratic Party asked him to do so and also wanted to buy Novosti for the same reason. In an interview to the weekly Nedeljnik, Beko said that he did not know to whom he should give money for Novosti buyout, to WAZ or to Bogicevic. The Securities Commission of Serbia imposed a ban on the voting rights for the privatized shares of Novosti. Today is difficult to say who owns the controlling stake in Novosti.
In 2017 company went bankrupt and later on plan of reorganization was adopted. Plan allowed creditors to transfer debt into ownership in Novosti and thus opened the door for state, through state owned print company Borba, to become majority shareholder in company. This was approved at shareholders' meeting in May 2019.
mixed (state and private)
paid content (50 RSD)
Media Companies / Groups
Vecernje Novosti is published by Kompanija Novosti, a joint stock company, the major owners of which are the Republic of Serbia and non-transparent and offshore structures with links to Milan Beko.
A freeze on the voting rights for the privatized block of shares in Vecernje Novosti (62.2%) was imposed in 2011 by the Serbian Securities Commission, leaving the state in control of the biggest block of voting rights.
Group / Individual Owner
Republic of Serbia
Affiliated Interests Founder
Borba was founded by the Communist party in 1922. Up to the Second World War it was banned a number of times. Borba became a daily newspaper during the Communist period - post-1945 - and existed until 2009 when it was shut down.
Affiliated Interests Ceo
Srdjan Muskatirovic is former tennis player who played for Yugoslavian Davis cup team and in 1992 on Olympic games in Barcelona. According to his biography from Novosti's website, in 1997 he graduated from Faculty of Economics, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). After that, Muskatirovic worked for banks in Los Angeles and London until in 2001 he became advisor in National bank of Serbia. In his career, he also worked for branch of Laderna International BV, company connected to Mlan Beko. Muskatirovic was appointed as managing director of Novosti in July 2017 after Ratko Dmitrovic's resignation on that position was accepted.
Milorad Vucelic, acting editor in chief
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
Milorad Vucelic is a journalist and former member of the Socialist Party of Serbia. He is also CEO and Editor in Chief of weekly Pecat. From 1977 until 1985 he was the director of the Student Cultural Centre, during which time, according to his biography, he was noticed for developing alternative cultural projects. Even though he positioned himself as a leftist and a fan of Che Guevara, Vucelic was close to the Serbian nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic during the 1990s. He was the director of RTS at a time when RTS was used as an instrument of propaganda by Milosevic’s regime. His relationship with the Socialists ended in 1995, but from 1997 to 1998 he re-joined the party. After the murder of democratic Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003, Vucelic was arrested in the police operation Sablja. Furthermore, an investigative television show and now web portal Insajder published a police report which stated that Vucelic was involved in cigarette smuggling during the 1990s, an allegation which he denied. Today, he is close to the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and serves as their defender in public. In October 2016 he was elected as president of the Partizan football club.
Revenue (in Mill. $)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
Similar to Politika, the ownership structure of Novosti remains unclear. Over time, the public received more information, but to date, the fact that the privatised part of Vecernje Novosti is owned by offshore companies whose ownership structure is concealed makes it difficult to say for sure who the real owner is.