DR. FRANCISCO PINTO BALSEMÃO

FOUNDER OF IMPRESA

"INNOVATION IS BY DEFINITION – CREATION OF SOMETHING – GOODS, SERVICES, NEEDS, ARTS, ETC. – NEW. SOMETHING THAT DIDN’T EXIST. INNOVATION DOES NOT HAVE TO IMPLY INVENTION. INNOVATION IMPLIES ESSENTIALLY THE “PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION OF AN INVENTION” (WIKIPEDIA).

- DR. FRANCISCO PINTO BALSEMÃO, FOUNDER OF IMPRESA

If we go back in History the invention of the wheel was a tremendous innovation. If we think about the future the spaceship that will transport human beings to a planet outside of the solar system will be a new unbelievable innovation.

There are of course innovations of a smaller scale. In my case, I believe my main innovation contributions (until now, because I intend to go on innovating…) were:

• The successful launching of the weekly quality newspaper Expresso, in 1973, when in Portugal we still had Government imposed previous censorship to the press. We survived that as well as the 1974/1976 military revolution and nowadays we are selling more copies and have more digital subscribers than any other publication in Portugal;

• The revision of the Constitution, in 1981, when I was Prime Minister of Portugal and leader of the Social Democrat Party. The new constitutional text allowed my country to get rid of the military and join in 1983 the then EEC – European Economic Community;

• The launching in 1992 of SIC, the first privately owned TV free to air channel (until then, we only had two state owned free to air channels), and later, in 2001, the launching of SIC Notícias, the first cable news channel in Portugal. In 2020, both SIC and SIC Notícias are leaders of audience;

• The transfer to Oeiras, in 2019, of Impresa’s (our holding company) main activities – Expresso, SIC, SIC Notícias and other cable channels, sites, newsletters, podcasts, 360º, etc. – and the growing of our innovation capacity (the very recent launching of OPTO, our streaming service, is a good example).

Innovation is basically about introducing something new, something different, something that should be efficient and useful and helpful. That involves all areas in management: from supply, to production, to distribution. That also covers government and society as a whole.

FRANCISCO PINTO BALSEMÃO was an active member of the so-called Ala Liberal during the dictatorship in Portugal.

Vice President of the Constitutional Assembly that, after the 1974 revolution, approved the Portuguese Constitution of 1976.

One of the three founders (in 1974) of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD, later renamed Social Democratic Party – PSD), which is, still now, one of the two main parties in Portugal.

In 1980 he was Minister of State. From 1981 to 1983, Francisco Pinto Balsemão was Prime Minister of Portugal and President of PSD. He has been elected a member of the Portuguese Parliament several terms.

Francisco Pinto Balsemão is a Member of the Portuguese Council of State since 2005.

After working as a journalist and then as member of the Board of Diário Popular, from 1963 to 1971, he founded Expresso weekly newspaper in 1973.

Francisco Pinto Balsemão was also the founder, in 1992 of SIC – Sociedade Independente de Comunicação, the first Portuguese private television channel.

He was Professor of Communication Science at the New University of Lisbon (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), from 1987 to 2002, and President of the Council of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), from 2009 to 2017.

Francisco Pinto Balsemão currently serves as Chairman of Impresa Group, a Portuguese holding company with full control of SIC Television Group (owner of the channels SIC, SIC Notícias, SIC Mulher, SIC Radical, SIC Internacional, SIC K, SIC Caras and Txillo), Impresa Publishing, SA (owner of the weekly newspaper Expresso and of Blitz, a Portuguese media site that focus on popular music and pop culture) and InfoPortugal (dedicated to Geographical Information Systems and mobility markets).

IMPRESA

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