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Politico’s New Playbook

Mathias Döpfner, Axel Springer C.E.O.
Mathias Döpfner, Axel Springer C.E.O. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
October 26, 2022

Back in April, Axel Springer’s formidable chief executive Mathias Döpfner ventured to Washington for the annual White House Correspondents Dinner and a gauntlet of brunches, parties and meetings in an effort to familiarize himself with the insularity and narcissism of the American politico-media establishment. It was a heady time: Six months earlier, Döpfner had closed Axel’s $1 billion acquisition of Politico, the Beltway bible, giving his Berlin-based media conglomerate a strong foothold in D.C. and Brussels, and turbocharging his ambitions to turn Axel into the democratic world’s leading digital publisher.