Free Netherlands continues independently – Bladendokter

Vrij Nederland continues independently. Sander Heijne will replace Ward Weijndels as editor-in-chief and Vrij Nederland will work intensively with Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam.

A solution has been found for Vrij Nederland for some time, since publisher WPG announced in April 2023 that it wanted to sell all magazines in order to focus entirely on the production of books, audiobooks and podcasts. A new purchase was found for other titles, such as Happinez and Psychology Magazine. Roularta Media Netherlands took over these titles in September last year. But Vrij Nederland remained on the shelf. Logically, the magazine has already made a loss of 9 million euros in the past 15 years, he said de Volkskrant. In the same period, circulation fell from 45,000 to 13,000 copies.

Statutes stood in the way of sales

The sale of Vrij Nederland was also not an easy one because WPG Media’s articles of association state that it is responsible for the publication of the former resistance newspaper. Now that Vrij Nederland has become independent, the WPG Foundation continues to own 100% of the shares. The WPG Foundation will soon have a name change to the Vrij Nederland Foundation. Another foundation will eventually be established for the current book publisher.

Digitization and events for Vrij Nedelrand

With privatization the guard also changes. Sander Heijne will become the new editor-in-chief of Vrij Nederland as of April 1, 2024. He succeeds Ward Wijndelts, who has decided to resign from his position. A close collaboration is also being established with Pakhuis de Zwijger. Heijne plans to organize monthly events in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger in which the content of the stories focuses and in which makers, interviewees and readers debate with each other. He will also focus on the digitalization of the brand. Vrij Nederland receives more online articles, videos and podcasts.

Progressive Media House

According to the article in the Volkskrant, Heijne receives a ‘dowry’ of 2 million euros from WPG. On Vrij Nederland’s own website says Heijne: ‘I consider it a great honor to be able to lead Vrij Nederland in the coming period. Especially at a time when our democratic achievements are increasingly under pressure, the Netherlands needs an independent progressive media house that opposes the new status quo. These are the values ​​on which Vrij Nederland was built in 1940 and we will continue this tradition.’