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Berliner Zeitung

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Berliner Zeitung
Sample front page
TypeDaily newspaper (except Sundays)
FormatRhenish (format)
Owner(s)Holger Friedrich
PublisherBerliner Verlag
Editor-in-chiefTomasz Kurianowicz
Founded21 May 1945; 79 years ago (1945-05-21)
HeadquartersBerlin, Germany
Circulation148,000 (2010)
Websitewww.berliner-zeitung.de Edit this at Wikidata

The Berliner Zeitung (German: [bɛʁˈliːnɐ ˈtsaɪtʊŋ]; lit.'Berlin Newspaper') is a daily newspaper based in Berlin, Germany. Founded in East Germany in 1945, it is the only East German paper to achieve national prominence since reunification. It is published by Berliner Verlag.

History and profile

Berliner Zeitung headquarters

Berliner Zeitung was first published on 21 May 1945 in East Berlin.[1] The paper, a center-left daily, is published by Berliner Verlag. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the paper was bought by Gruner + Jahr and the British publisher Robert Maxwell. Gruner + Jahr later became sole owners and relaunched it in 1997 with a completely new design. A stated goal was to turn the Berliner Zeitung into "Germany's Washington Post". The daily says its journalists come "from east and west", and it styles itself as a "young, modern and dynamic" paper for the whole of Germany. It is the only East German paper to achieve national prominence since reunification.[2] In 2003, the Berliner was Berlin's largest subscription newspaper—the weekend edition sells approximately 207,800 copies, with a readership of 468,000. The current editor-in-chief is Brigitte Fehrle.

Gruner + Jahr decided to leave the newspaper business and sold the Berliner Zeitung in 2002 to the publishing group Georg von Holtzbrinck.[3] This sale was blocked by the German antitrust authorities since Holtzbrinck already owned another major Berlin newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel. The Berliner Zeitung was then sold in the fall of 2005 for an estimated 150–180 million euros to the British company Mecom Group[4] and the American company Veronis Suhler Stevenson. The employees criticized this sale vehemently, fearing that journalistic quality could suffer as a result of excessive profit expectations by Mecom boss David Montgomery.[citation needed]

The Berliner Zeitung was the first German newspaper to fall under the control of foreign investors.[5] Andrew Marr, former editor of The Independent, which like the Berliner Zeitung was taken over by David Montgomery, said of the Berliner Zeitung that "[a]nyone who was working at The Independent in the mid to late Nineties will find all this wearisomely familiar. David's obsession at that time was removing as much traditional reporting as possible from the paper and turning it into a tabloid-style scandal sheet for yuppies."[6]

On 23 March 2009, it was announced that the Berliner Verlag would be sold by Mecom to the publisher M. DuMont Schauberg (MDS) in Cologne. The price was about 152 million Euro. Mecom was forced to sell its publishing interests in Germany as well as Norway because of heavy debts.[7]

Holger Friedrich and his wife Silke bought the Berliner Verlag in September 2019 from M. DuMont Schaumberg. This company published beside Berliner Zeitung also Berliner Kurier and Berliner Abendblatt.[8] Friedrich wrote in the first number after he bought Berliner Zeitung, that their vision was to make politics and society more interesting again.[9]

List of editors-in-chief

Mai–Juli 1945 Oberst Alexander Kirsanow
July 1945–May 1949 Rudolf Herrnstadt
May–July 1949 Gerhard Kegel
July–September 1949 Georg Stibi
1949–1955 Günter Kertzscher
1955–1957 Erich Henschke
1957–1961 Theo Grandy
1961–1962 Joachim Herrmann
1962–1965 Joachim Herrmann
1965–1972 Rolf Lehnert
1972–1989 Dieter Kerschek
1989–1996 Hans Eggert
1996–1998 Michael Maier
1999–2001 Martin E. Süskind
2002–2006 Uwe Vorkötter
2006–2009 Josef Depenbrock
2009–2012 Uwe Vorkötter
2012–2016 Brigitte Fehrle [de]
2016–2020 Jochen Arntz
2020 Matthias Thieme


  1. ^ R. C. Raack (1995). Stalin's Drive to the West, 1938-1945: The Origins of the Cold War. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 122. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  2. ^ Wilder, Charly (27 June 2013). "Digitizing the GDR: East German Papers Offer Glimpse of History". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Annual report 2002" (PDF). Bertelsmann. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  4. ^ Helen Pidd (24 June 2008). "Montgomery axes 30 journalists at German paper Berliner Zeitung". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  5. ^ Brooks (2005)
  6. ^ As quoted in a 2006 article The Independent (Elkins and Burrell 2006).
  7. ^ "Die Kölner können kommen". Berliner Zeitung (in German). 23 March 2009. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Berliner Verleger Silke und Holger Friedrich: Wir sind branchenfremd, aber sehen das als Chance".
  9. ^ ""Berliner Zeitung": Neu-Eigentümer Silke und Holger Friedrich setzen erste Akzente". Meedia. 8 November 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.