DIt is becoming increasingly clear that the “merger” of the RTL broadcasting group with the Gruner + Jahr publishing house under the aegis of Bertelsmann and RTL boss Thomas Rabe could result in the traditional magazine house being broken up. All titles published there would be put to the test, Rabe announced at the beginning of October. “The magazine business” is “particularly under pressure,” Rabe said internally: “That’s why we will review the title portfolio and only merge titles with RTL that are really synergistic.”
An interim result of the “portfolio review” reported by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” suggests that nothing could remain but the magazine “Stern”. Accordingly, the magazines “Brigitte” (with its subsidiary magazines), “Gala” and “Schöner Wohnen” are on the sales list, there are interested parties, between 50 and 100 million euros are offered per title, already in the first quarter of 2023, so a possible Buyers quoted, the sell-off could go through. At the request of the Reuters agency, the RTL Group said that all titles were being scrutinized, the results had not yet been determined, but were expected for the first quarter of next year. Until then, they do not want to comment on speculation.
In view of this, the German Association of Journalists (DJV) is calling on RTL Germany and Bertelsmann to provide a “guarantee for jobs” in Gruner + Jahr magazines. “We appeal to the owners of the Gruner + Jahr magazines to keep the traditional and important publications,” said DJV national chairman Frank Überall. The Gruner + Jahr works council must be involved. “The representatives of the employees must be initiated and involved, said Überall. “The focus must be on preserving jobs. It’s also about human destinies.” In September, Bertelsmann CEO Rabe announced that he wanted to increase the group’s sales to 24 billion euros by 2026. In 2021, total sales were 18.7 billion, this year more than 20 billion euros are expected.
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