Berliner Zeitung

The Berliner Zeitung (BZ ) is a regional daily newspaper founded in 1945 in Berlin. It is read with a paid circulation of 126,820 copies and 400,000 readers daily, the largest subscription newspaper of the Berlin -Brandenburg region and especially in the eastern districts of the capital. Editor in chief since July 1, 2012 Brigitte Fehrle.


The Berliner Zeitung is the first German daily newspaper, which was founded after the Second World War. She appeared from 1945 to 1990 only in East Berlin, since the reunified Berlin.

The first edition of the Berliner Zeitung appeared on May 21, 1945, four pages and the headline Berlin lives on! for the price of 10 cents. At first she was subtitled "Organ of the command of the Red Army ". First editor in chief was the Soviet colonel Alexander Kirsanof. The editorial team consisted of Soviet officers, former resistance fighters and members of the KPD. Later, other, largely unencumbered journalists were added. The newspaper was printed first in a small print shop in the Urban in Berlin- Kreuzberg.

In July 1945, the editorship was transferred to the municipal authorities of the city of Berlin. The editor in chief, Rudolf Herrnstadt, a former employee of the Berliner Tageblatt and former agent of the Soviet foreign intelligence service GRU. Fritz Erpenbeck also was an important figure in the founding phase. Both are to win for a short time, Helmut Kindler for a successful cooperation. First, the editorial was based in an abandoned house in Berlin's Friedrichshain field, but later moved into the house Linde Straße 41 in Berlin -Mitte. From 2 August 1945, the title was given the " Official Organ of the Municipal Council of Berlin".

In 1953, the Berliner Zeitung was subordinated to the Central Committee of the SED. The daily newspaper in the East German capital, with a daily circulation of over 345,000 copies, changed its name, not ( as was Berlin district) as an organ of the SED district leadership as the 14 other regional newspapers in the GDR, but the Berlin publishing house appeared as a publisher; reporting was partly a bit open and critical. Nevertheless, the Berliner Zeitung is attributed at this time the SED press monopoly.

Even before the reunification in 1990, the Berliner Verlag and thus the Berliner Zeitung and the BZ went on the evening of the PDS to a joint venture of Maxwell Communications and Gruner Jahr. In 1992, the publishing house Gruner Jahr, the Berliner Zeitung and tried with a huge financial burden, the largest newspaper in East Berlin, a convert "Capital newspaper ." Erich Böhme, prominent publisher from 1990 to 1994, formulated the ambition to make the Berlin newspaper " Washington Post German ". This applies in the newspaper industry have not been met so far.

After Gruner Jahr had decided to get out of the newspaper business, the publishing group Georg von Holtzbrinck took over the Berlin publishing house in June 2002. This assumption, however, was prohibited in 2004 by the Federal Cartel Office, because Holtzbrinck back in 1992, the Berlin daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel bought and would thus obtain a dominant position in Berlin where the subscribers Newspapers sector.

The Holtzbrinck Publishing Group therefore sold in the fall of 2005, the Berlin publishing house for an estimated 150 to 180 million euros to the German newspaper Holding BV. The takeover plans were pushed its notification within the publishers to strong criticism, because it was feared that excessive profit expectations of the British media manager David Montgomery could affect the journalistic quality of the newspaper. It was also criticized that Chief Editor Josef Depenbrock while serving as the Managing Director. With the sale of Berliner Verlag, a German newspaper house was come into the possession of a foreign financial investor for the first time.

The unmasking of two employees of the Berliner Zeitung as a Stasi IMs in March 2008 brought the sheet in the headlines. In an article from 1 April 2008 announced chief editor Depenbrock, fearing for the credibility of his paper, to enlightenment. They would " review each of these editors and journalists also possible sift through the files of the Birthler authority ". The investigation should be carried out by scientists at the Free University of Berlin and the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt ( Oder), which a few days later, however, rejected the project.

On 13 January 2009, the Cologne publisher M. DuMont announced that he would take over the activities of the Mecom Group in Germany, including the Berliner Zeitung. Mecom scored according to own data for the entire publications a retail price of 152 million euro. In March 2009, the sale by the approval of Mecom shareholders became final. At the same time it was announced that the DuMont group 35 percent of the holding company whose part the Berliner Zeitung ( PMB, Press and Media House Berlin, with the investments in the Berliner Zeitung, Berliner Kurier, Tip, Berlin Evening Journal, Hamburger Morgenpost and the Open Full Story ) has resold to Cologne Heinen- Verlag ( Helmut Heinen ).

Since April 2010, the Berliner Zeitung part of the " DuMont editorial community" of the Frankfurter Rundschau, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and the Central German newspaper belong. DuMont announced in April 2011 that from the summer of 2011, the national coat parts of the Frankfurter Rundschau are also produced in Berlin ( the staff of the Berliner Zeitung is to supplemented by some journalists from Frankfurt). Uwe Vorkötter was chief editor of both newspapers. In June 2012, it was announced that there will be two chief editors again from July 2012, successor of Vorkötter is at Berliner Zeitung Brigitte Fehrle.

Already since 1877, appeared a Berlin newspaper, from the re-display of the German division only in West Berlin tabloid BZ ( Ullstein ) emerged.

Support development

The Berliner Zeitung has lost heavily in recent years to support. Paid circulation has declined by 39 percent since 1998. The proportion of subscribers is about 70 percent.

Development of sold copies