Babiš already broke his promise not to meddle in MAFRA
The new owner of the MAFRA publishing house, businessman Andrej Babiš, made an irritated call to the political editor at the Lidové noviny (LN) daily, which is published by MAFRA, after repeatedly stating in preceding days that he will not interfere with editorial work of MAFRA’s publications. According to LN, during the Friday phone call, Mr. Babiš criticized the newspaper for not mentioning the presentation of his political campaign ANO 2011, which took place the previous day. After inquiries from the editorial board, the billionaire, who purchased MAFRA this past week, arrived at the LN office and apologized for the phone call, reiterating his promise not to interfere with editorial decisions. Mr. Babiš is planning to take his ANO 2011 party into the next parliamentary elections, and this week’s purchase of the publishing group, which also puts out the major Mladá fronta Dnes daily, was perceived by some observers as an attempt to gain media influence.