The Italian leader, who died on June 12 at the age of 86, controlled several TV channels in Italy and Spain through his Mediaset group (which will become MediaForEurope in 2021), as well as Mondadori, the peninsula’s largest magazine publisher.
With the death of Silvio Berlusconi on Monday June 12, at the age of 86, the future of his media and communications empire is hanging in the balance. The Cavaliere’s death, which held the family clan together, could cause dissension and weaken the group, which is managed by his children. While the eldest children, Marina and Pier Silvio Berlusconi – respectively head of the Italian press group Arnoldo Mondadori Editore and in charge of the TV channels – are involved in the family businesses, this is less the case for three other children, born of a second marriage. “Mediaset must remain in Italian hands”, warned Alfredo Messina, former manager of Fininvest, a few hours after the patriarch’s death, as if to emphasize that the future of the media empire built by Berlusconi was under threat.
It was through this family holding company, created in 1975, that Mr. Berlusconi controlled several television channels in Italy and Spain, brought together in the Mediaset group (which will become MediaForEurope in 2021), as well as Mondadori editions, Italy’s largest magazine publisher. On hearing of his death on Monday morning, his TV channels, Rete 4, Canale 5 and TGcom24, turned their schedules upside down to pay tribute to him. And, for once, without a commercial break.