Published 2015-03-04

Two generations Schibsted

Inspiring. Great opportunities. The place to be. These are some reasons behind Torstein Hvattum and his son Pål Hauff Hvattum’s long careers in Schibsted.

Meet Torstein Hvattum

Journalist Torstein Hvattum (60) has worked in Aftenposten for almost 30 years. Currently, he’s a commentator in Aftenposten’s cultural section. 

Why do you work in Aftenposten and what is it like?
When I started in Aftenposten as a reporter in the new edition Lørdag Aften back in 1986, I didn’t think I would be working there for the rest of my professional career. But I’ve been given opportunities to develop new aspects of my career in different areas of the media house, as reporter, in middle management and as a manager and coach.

Torstein (right) and colleague Rune Hallheim at work in Aftenposten’s culture section. 

In your work, what makes your heart sing?
When I write and express opinions and thoughts that affect the readers – no matter whether

they are fumingly disagreeing with or applauding what I write. Indifference to what I write is paralyzing. The contact with the audience is the driving force in my work.

Torstein is interviewed by Norway’s public broadcaster, NRK.

What do you do when you’re not working?
I exercise and try to keep in shape. I also sing in a choir (bass) and I am fond of reading all kinds of literature.

Do you have any hidden talents?
To the extent that the interest and talent is hidden: I like singing, alone or with others. I write some lyrics and occasionally also melodies.

Tips for others who would like to work at Aftenposten?
Aftenposten is a very exciting media house. If you are interested in being able to influence the technological transformation that the media industry is in the middle of right now, then Aftenposten is the best place to be.


Meet Pål Hauff Hvattum

Torstein’s son Pål Hauff Hvattum (33) started in Schibsted Media Group as a management trainee nine years ago. In spite of his young age, Pål already has a sound international career in several of the Group’s companies around the world; currently he is General Manager of, Schibsted’s classifieds site in Mexico. 

Why do you work in and what is it like?
To be General Manager in Schibsted’s classifieds operations in Mexico must be one of the most interesting and inspiring jobs in Schibsted Media Group. We are a 100 percent Schibsted operation in one of the most prosperous emerging markets. I have a great and fast-growing team that strives to find the right balance between building on what we have done so successfully in other markets, while having enough courage to do new things in new ways.

In your work, what makes your heart sing?
My heart sings when the Volkswagen Combi ‘school bus’ from 1980 arrives at work with a bunch of employees who already are in a heavy discussions about some kind of new ‘killer’ functionality that they are eager to finish by 7:30 hrs in the morning.

It also sings when a new employee stands up and proposes a new solution. And of course, after the Friday Stand-up when we get together after a tough week and have a small tequila.

As General Manager, Pål (in the back) has focused a lot on making a great place to work. 

What do you do when you’re not working?
I try to avoid the very dangerous Mexican taco belly by doing some sports. I also try to play some music and travel a lot.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I am quite good at tolerating the electrical shock from the ‘caja de toques’ – a small electric shock box used in traditional restaurants and bars. Mexican men amuse themselves by standing hand in hand in a ring and testing who can resist the highest electrical voltage without breaking the line.

Mexican’s like to have fun. It didn’t take Pål long to become a passionate aficionado of Mexican culture and traditions.

Tips for others who would like to work at Segundamano?
Don’t listen too much to the European news. Mexico has a lot more to offer than all the awful stories that you read about in the news (for instance, in the newspaper in which my father works). And work on your patience level – Mexico is still veeeeery slow.

There’s always a reason to celebrate at

Torstein and Pål on Schibsted’s digital transition

In many ways, the two of you represent the recent developments in Schibsted Media Group: Moving from being an owner of traditional print newspapers to become an active owner of large media houses in several countries, while also becoming a world leader in online classifieds operations and global tech companies. What do you think about this transition?

Both father and son know how to enjoy a good cigar.

The media developments in the past 30 years have been remarkable. Having been part of the industry since 1975, I have probably observed the most comprehensive changes in modern times what both technology and publishing concerns.

I am proud of what Schibsted has delivered. The venture into worldwide online classifieds has provided a sound financial foundation. In Norway, I believe the establishment of the cooperation between our media houses through Schibsted Norge has been the right way to go.

If Aftenposten is to maintain its leading position as the serious national newspaper in Norway, both on paper and online, we must be true to our style. Our subscribers choose us because we offer content that dives deeper than most other media do.

I agree that this is what we should be the most proud of. When I explain Schibsted Media Group’s history and diversity to journalists, job seekers and tech people in Mexico, they are all quite amazed. It is a challenge to be the best in so different industries and markets, but I am convinced that our diverse portfolio will make us stronger in the long run.

I also find it a bit sad that countries such as Mexico don’t really have a strong and independent press. We should continue to strive for world dominance with all new tech products which can improve our everyday lives, but at the same time we shouldn not forget how good journalism also really empowers people. My father is soon to retire. A dream scenario would be that he then could get a check from the CEO and get on a plane to Mexico City with a new journalistic mission.