The Greek media landscape has always been permeated by politics. It is not a coincidence that the growth of the modern Greek press in the mid-19th century paralleled the establishment of political parties in the country. In the 20th century and more particularly after the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, the Greek press was modernised. Since then, the introduction of new printing technologies in the 1980s, the entrance of private investors into the media sector, coupled with strong competition from television, have changed the media sector at large. A drift away from building strong ties of mutual interest with the political parties towards addressing the major political orientations of the modern Greek electorate.
As far as its structure is concerned, the Greek media is primarily characterized by excess in supply over demand. In effect, there has been an oversupply of newspapers, TV channels, magazines and radio stations which have to compete for the audience and advertising market share of a small country. Although the developments in the Greek media sector may not entirely respond to the needs of its advertising industry, it has been surprisingly adaptable to swings in the economic business cycle (Papathanassopoulos 2001). The recent fiscal crisis, however, coupled with the crisis of the economy, brought major losses in advertising revenues for the media industry (Korderas 2012). On top of that, Greek woes have deepened by the current austerity package put forth by the so-called Troika, that is, the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB), which aims at restoring the Greek economy.
While the advertising market has faced a collapse since 2009, orders for public works or other public sector government activities have also gradually worsened the situation of the press. This was due to the inability of the state either to payoff or reimburse the contractors for the public works it had asked for. This had a negative knock-on effect on the media and newspapers in particular, since entrepreneurs in public construction projects who were also active in the media field could no longer cross-subsidize their media outlets from revenues made out of public orders.
Media ownership used to be concentrated in the hands of few media magnates. Nowadays, the main media groups of the country are:
- Alafouzos Group: Kathimerini (daily newspaper), and Kathimerini tis Kyriakis (Sunday), Kathimerini, English edition, SKAI TV, SKAI FM 100.3 Erotikos FM, Melodia FM.
- Dimosiografikos Organismos Lambraki (ex Lambrakis Group; ex Psycharis Group, now under the ownership of Evangelos Marinakis): To Vima tis Kyriakis (Sunday Newspaper), Ta Nea (daily newspaper), in.gr, Vima FM, DOL Digital.
- Proto Thema (Anastasiadis-Karamitsos): Proto Thema (Sunday Newspaper), Νeo Xrima Publications ΕΚΔΟΣΕΙΣ / NEWMONEY.GR, OLIVE MEDIA SA, Karamitsos and associates Ltd/OLIVEMAGAZINE.GR.
- Pegasus (ex. Bobolas Group), now under the ownership of Ivan Savvidis publishing Ethnos (daily), Ethnos Kyriakis (Sunday paper), and not publishing Imerisia (daily financial newspaper). Management is transferred in the hands of 24Media (until now a digital publishing group). There was no bid for P.M.P. Pegasus Magazines Publications & Pegasus Interactive.
- REAL GROUP (Chatzinikolaou- Kouris) Real News (Sunday newspaper), Real FM, Enicos.gr.
- Vardinoyannis Group: Star TV Channel, Thema FM, Diesi FM.
- Kyriakou Group: Antenna TV, Macedonia TV, Antenna radios, Antenna Balkans, Heaven Music, Vice.com/gr (Greek edition).
- Kontominas Group: Alpha TV, Alpha Radio.
- Philippakis Group: Dimokratia, Estia, Espresso (daily papers), Dimokratia tis Kyriakis (Sunday) and Orthodoxi Alitheia (religion monthly newspaper).