Negotiations ongoing for the sale of BÖRSE ONLINE and IMPULSE
CAPITAL and BUSINESS PUNK to continue in Berlin
Hamburg, 23. November 2012 - Gruner + Jahr is to close FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND (FTD) and all associated brands, publications and online activities. The last edition of the FTD is to be published on 7 December 2012. "FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND was one of the most ambitious journalistic projects of the last decade," said Julia Jäkel, President of Gruner + Jahr Germany. "This is the end of a significant chapter in the history of the German publishing industry. Gruner + Jahr and its shareholders have passionately and persistently fought for this newspaper for twelve long years. FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND has represented the epitome of outstanding, critically acclaimed journalism."
After its foundation, the FTD quickly made a name for itself as a source of independent, high-quality journalism in the worlds of business and politics. "Our quality writing breathed fresh life into German business journalism," Jäkel added.
"Daily newspapers are under a great deal of pressure, particularly those in the business segment," continued Jäkel. "FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND has not been profitable since it was established in 2000. As a result, we see no viable way of continuing its publication."
The current market conditions have also taken their toll on the business media as a whole. Discussions are ongoing regarding the potential sale of investment magazine BÖRSE ONLINE and monthly publication IMPULSE or their continuation through management buy-outs. These publications are to also cease publication if no satisfactory solution can be found.
Business magazine CAPITAL, including associated brands, publications and online activities, is to be revamped in Berlin with a greater focus on economic policy. Steffen Klusmann has taken on the challenge of coordinating the transitional phase in order to pave the way for the magazine's relaunch. "CAPITAL is a strong brand and has been part of our journalistic portfolio for half a century," said Jäkel. "We want to build on this success and keep the business segment at Gruner + Jahr alive." BUSINESS PUNK is to also continue at the group's Berlin site. Corporate publishing unit Facts & Figures will remain as well.
Gruner + Jahr's financial publications were consolidated into the business media segment G+J Wirtschaftsmedien in 2008. However, the significant cost savings that were realised were unable to compensate for the decline in advertising revenue. G+J Wirtschaftsmedien is on course to make a further significant loss this year.
Until the very end, Gruner + Jahr conducted an extensive search for a buyer for FTD to ensure the survival of the publication and to safeguard jobs, but none could be found. The publishing group also considered continuing the newspaper as a web-based product. However, after an extensive review, Gruner + Jahr saw no prospect of success.
A total of 258 G+J Wirtschaftsmedien employees based in Hamburg will be affected by the closure, together with 42 employees in Frankfurt and 14 staff members in other offices. The continuation of CAPITAL will likely be centred on a smaller editorial team, depending on the new strategy for the magazine. Gruner + Jahr is to negotiate a redundancy plan with works council members for the employees concerned.
About 50 staff members employed in associated divisions (Media Sales, DPV, Corporate Services) are directly or indirectly affected. Organisational structures and costs are to be brought in line with the overhaul at G+J Wirtschaftsmedien, with the main focus on employee fluctuation (part-time work for older employees; expiring fixed-term contracts etc.).
"Gruner + Jahr would like to thank all editorial and publishing staff at G+J Wirtschaftsmedien for their commitment, their outstanding publishing work and the exceptional standard of journalism they have produced for our company over the years," said Julia Jäkel. "You have set a benchmark to which others aspire."
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