Focus Media Group
Focus Group is one of the main media groups in Albania and owns the informative TV station, News 24, the daily newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare, the online portal Balkanweb.com and radio Rash. The media group was founded in April 2011 by the businessman Irfan Hysenbelliu and the banker Artan Santo, while both were negotiating a purchase agreement with Edisud S.pa. The Albanian branch of Edisud S.p.a was sold in May 2011 for a total price of 5.9 million euros. Focus Group LLC is the sole owner of the company Focus Media News LLC, which owns News 24 TV, the news portal Balkanweb.com and radio Rash. Focus Group also owns Focus News Press, which owns the daily Gazeta Shqiptare. A few months after the acquisition of the companies the two businessmen transferred their shares to their daughters, Fabiola Hysenbelliu and Emi Santo, for a value of 50,000 Lek each (USD 476,00). In October 2011, Focus Group changed ownership again, where Asllan Grezda and Bashkim Hysenbelli became owners of the shares, splitting 50% each. Grezda was a shareholder in Credins Bank, where Santo was CEO and shareholder, while Bashkim Hysenbelli is a cousin of Irfan Hysenbelliu and has no other business activity. In June 2014, Artan Santo was assassinated by two unidentified gunmen in the center of Tirana. Grezda remained in the company until February 2017, when he sold his shares to Bashkim Hysenbelli for 50.000 Lek (USD 444,20).
Radio and Television Broadcasting; Publishing; Construction; Trade; Hotel and Tourism; Brewery (Birra Korça); Winery; Water production; Education (private university college)
Radio and television broadcasting
Focus Media News (100%)
Panorama Group (100%)
Focus Press LLC (100%)
W. Elektrik (100%)
Hysenbelliu Group (100%)
Hotel and tourism
Egnatia Group (100%)
Bottled water production
Fab Group (100%)
Affiliated Interests Founder
Irfan Hysenbelliu – is an entrepreneur in the field of construction, hotel business, brewery and private higher education. He started his career in 1994 as a trader and importer of goods, but later expanded into the profitable construction market in Tirana. In 2002 Hysenbelliu invested in the media sector and founded Panorama Group LLC, which owns the daily newspaper Panorama, the sport daily Panorama Sport and the weekly magazine Psikologjia. In 2011, Hysenbelliu extended his reach in the audiovisual media market and bought the television station News 24, the daily newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare, the portal Balkanweb.com and radio Rash for 5.9 million euro together with a banker Artan Santo.
Artan Santo – started his career in the banking sector in Albania in early 90’ and after seven years rose to the post of CEO of Albania’s Savings Bank. In 2000 he founded the private Credins Bank and served as its CEO. In 2009 Santo invested in the media sector as a shareholder of Scan TV – a business news television station. In 2011, together with the businessman Irfan Hysenbelliu he founded Focus Group, which bought the media companies owned in Albania by the Italian company Edisud Spa. In June 2014, Santo was killed outside his bank’s headquarters in Tirana by masked gunman. The authors of the mafia style murder have never been identified.
Rruga Ali Demi, ish-Kombinati i Autotraktorëve, Zyrat e Administratës, Tirana;
Tax/ ID Number
Focus Media News (K21909002K); Focus Press (L11806011O)
Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)
Focus Media News: 2.2 Mio $ / 260 Mio. Lek Focus Press: 0.37 Mio $ / 48.10 Mio. Lek
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Focus Media News: 0.0004 Mio. $ / 0.06 Mio. Lek Focus Press: 0.00 Mio $ / 0.19 Mio. Lek
Advertising (in % of total funding)
Mustafa Muço – CEO of both Focus Media News and Focus Press, has been a member of the Socialist Party and minister of Economy and Privatization in the government headed by Ilir Meta in 2001. He was one of the founding members of Meta’s Socialist Movement for Integration in 2004, but later withdrew from active participation in politics. In July 2016, was named CEO of Focus Media News and Focus Press LLC.
Other Influential People
Andi Tela – is a journalist and General Director of News 24 television. Previously, he worked in managing positions at the daily newspapers “Panorama” and “Gazeta Shqiptare”.
Eni Vasili – is a journalist and host of the show ‘Studio e Hapur’ (Open Studio.) Vasili has a long career as a political show host and anchorwoman. She previously worked for the now defunct Alsat Television and Albania’s public broadcaster, TVSH.
Ola Bruko – is an anchorwoman and moderator of social issues talk show ‘Njerez ne Fokus’ (People in Focus)
Anila Jole – is the editor in chief of the television News 24.
Vilma Mesarea Theodhosi – is the marketing director of News 24.
Arkad Bazaiti – holds the position of Technical Director of News 24
The ownership structure and financial statement are publicly available at the Albanian National Business Registry for both Focus Media News and Focus Press. The financial data provided are for 2016. The Central Bank's average exchange rate for 2016 was used to convert the amounts into USD. Focus Group replied to the MOM information request on 22 January 2018. See sources for more. Audience share for Top TV stations was provided by Abacus Research and Telemetrix for 2017, the data are conflicting that’s why both audience shares are presented.