Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet appoints Finnish editor-in-chief
Hannu Olkinuora leaves post as chairman of YLE board
The Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL) has appointed Hannu Olkinuora, the current chairman of the board of the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, as its new editor-in-chief.
Olkinuora, 58, will be the first Finnish-speaking HBL editor. He will take up his new post on September 15th. At the same time, Olkinuora will take over as the CEO of HBL.
According to Olkinuora, he was selected primarily on the basis of his merits as a professional journalist.
”The appointment was not based on the language. Besides, I have good contacts with the Finnish-Swedish community”, Olkinuora points out.
Olkinuora worked as the editor-in-chief of Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden from 2000 to 2002.
”The best candidate was chosen. The language issue played only a secondary role in the process”, reports Henrik Johansson, the chairman of the HBL board.
The paper's current editor-in-chief Max Arhippainen will leave HBL when Olkinuora takes over. Arhippainen was offered a post as the second editor-in-chief, which he rejected.
The change at the helm is linked with the goal of the HBL publisher, KSF Media, to balance the paper’s economic situation by 2011.
The aim is to reduce the current EUR 3 million losses to less than one million.
In spite of the fact that the newspaper’s circulation has increased during Arhippainen’s term, the board did not regard him as a suitable person to improve HBL’s financial situation.
Olkinuora's departure will also probably mean changes at YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
He was the only member of the YLE board with real journalistic expertise.
The board members (a minimum of five and a maximum of eight) are elected by the 21-seat Administrative Council, whose members are in turn elected by and usually from Parliament, based on the political make-up of Parliament at the last general election.
The present Administrative Council chairman Kimmo Sasi (National Coalition Party) has stated that whilst it would be good for the new board chair to have journalistic experience, it is not a mandatory consideration.
From the perspective of Finnish radio and television consumers, it may be quite significant whom the politicians appoint to whisper imperatives in the ear of the YLE Managing Director Mikael Jungner for the next few years.