DeAgostini adds TV to media push


ROME -- Italian publisher DeAgostini continued its bid to become a major media player Tuesday, acquiring control of television production company Magnolia from founder Giorgio Gori exactly a week after taking full control of art-house film distributor Mikado.

Terms of the deal were not released, but the acquisition is a dramatic move for the Rome-based company, which until last week had only a limited presence in the media sector.

The deal had been rumored for weeks, with talks reportedly beginning in November.

It is unclear whether Gori, the former director of Mediaset's Canale 5, will stay on as the director of the company he founded in 2001.

Magnolia produces entertainment and information programming for Mediaset's networks, those of state broadcaster RAI, Telecom Italia subsidiary La 7 and a handful of foreign broadcasters. The company was privately held.

A spokesman for DeAgostini declined to elaborate on the Magnolia deal or whether the company was still shopping around for additional acquisitions.