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Thursday, June 22, 2023
Newsmax Hides Full Truth About Its Serbia Deal
Topic: Newsmax

An April 25 Newsmax article hyped a Newsmax deal in Europe:

Newsmax Media Inc., a leading U.S. cable news and digital media company, and Telecom Serbia, one of the largest fixed, mobile, internet, and multimedia service companies in Southeastern Europe, have signed an agreement for a multi-year license that will allow Telecom Serbia to broadcast Newsmax content to its customers.

“Newsmax is excited about its partnership with Telecom Serbia, which has become an impressive player in numerous European markets,” Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media Inc., said.

Ruddy added: “Newsmax saw this agreement as both an opportunity to join with a respected leader in multimedia, Telecom Serbia, but also to strengthen America’s ties with the people of Serbia and the Balkans. The United States and Serbia were allies in both World Wars, share a common desire to overcome the destructive legacy of communism in East Europe, and both continue to support democratic societies. We believe that millions of Americans, Serbs, and others will see us as an important source of information that they can trust.”

Newsmax had Telecom Serbia's director of multimedia on a Newsmax show the same day to tout the deal:

"I have to say that we are so proud that of our cooperation between Telecom Serbia and Newsmax and of the fact that Newsmax has chosen Telecom Serbia as a partner, Aleksandra Martinovic said Tuesday on "John Bachman Now.""The launch of the whole project is planned by the end of the year, and I'm completely, completely convinced that results will be significant."

Telecom Serbia reaches 11 million views and is "trying to enrich its media portfolio," Martinovic, said. "So besides Newsmax, we also have a partnership with Bloomberg, and with Euronews and in that way we provide to our users the most exclusive news from big business and from politics."

Currency and speed are vital, she noted "and that is the reason why Telecom Serbia chooses the best professional partners who can provide all of that."

But there's more to this story that Newsmax isn't telling you. Telecom Serbia is owned by the Serbian government, and Serbian Presient Aleksandar Vucic has been using it as a political weapon to squelch media criticism.One of Vucic's targets has been United Group, a privately owned company that operates a Telecom Serbia competitor, Serbia Broadband; a deal Telecom Serbia signed in 2021 had the apparent goal of reducing SBB's reach. United Group also happens to be the company with which Newsmax signed its initial distribution deal in the region in 2020 to create a channel called Newsmax Adria, which aired on SBB.

This means Newsmax is moving its programming from an outlet targeted by an oppressive Serbian government to one owned by that very same oppressive government in an apparent bid for greater reach. Not exactly a good look.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:05 PM EDT

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