Guest opinion: May the sauce be with you no more at the crumbling ‘Sex Empire’

On March 10, the longest-serving chief editor of a national newspaper, Poul Madsen at the tabloid Ekstra Bladet, announced his resignation after 14 years in charge. 

A new hope
The official explanation was that he wanted to spend more time with his family. In his goodbye interview he furthermore used the occasion to announce that one of his final decisions would be to terminate the multi-million dollar business marketplace for prostitution he has gradually built up during his time in office. 

‘The Sex Empire’ not only includes printed ads for ‘massage’, which have been a part of Ekstra Bladet’s bread and butter for decades and predate Madsen’s term as editor, but also Denmark’s two leading online ‘massage’ sites.

Their true ownership was probably unknown to most Danes until a few months ago, when it was disclosed that the offline and online ads were directly linked to illegal prostitution, victims of trafficking and, consequently,  money-laundering and organised crime. 

Attack on their thrones
To make things even more ‘colourful’, this connection was disclosed by a journalist from the Danish broadsheet daily Politiken, which is part of the same media conglomerate, JP/Politikens Hus, as Ekstra Bladet. 

About a month ago, editor Madsen and his boss, JP/Politikens Hus chair Lars Munch, insisted on their legal right to carry on with the sex business.

Munch even threatened to prosecute yours truly for accusing him of being involved in dubious and illegal business transactions, as disclosed in his own newspaper.

The last killing?
The online and offline ads are still there, but following Madsen’s resignation we now wait for the decision to be carried out. 

It is yet unclear whether the media conglomerate will try to make a last profit and actually sell the ‘Sex Empire’, or whether it will simply close it down, as they have led many to believe.

Madsen will not be able to give us the final answer. After all he was only the apprentice, never the master.    

Rise of the jive talker
Following Madsen’s resignation, the longest-serving editor of a national newspaper, according to my research, is Ben Hamilton from this distinguished newspaper. He has been in charge of the production of The Copenhagen Post for more than 11 years. 

Contrary to editor Madsen, Hamilton’s sole focus seems to be on running a newspaper.