Old wine, new hoses: “fr” to remain independent

Old wine, new hoses: 'fr' to remain independent

Although the profile and scope of the publication are to be largely retained, the structure of the editorial team will be changed under the new ownership, as will the staff. Furthermore, the "frankfurter rundschau" ("FR") is to appear as an independent and left-liberal newspaper, promised the "frankfurter allgemeine zeitung" gmbh ("FAZ") and the frankfurter societat gmbh as new investors. Both had reached agreement with the insolvency administration on the purchase price on thursday night. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

The downside of the newspaper deal is that, despite the secure future, most of the company’s 450 employees will have to leave. Only 28 employees are taken over to form the core of the new team as the main editorial office in frankfurt. The takeover could also cost jobs at berliner verlag, if the "frankfurter rundschau" there drops out of joint jacket production in three months, as planned so far.

The previous owner of the "FR" was the kolner medienhaus M. Dumont schauberg, which also publishes the "berliner zeitung. Spahn’s spokesman, wolfgang bruser, confirmed to dpa in berlin on thursday that the scenarios announced at the end of november would take effect in the event of the mantle being renounced. At that time, 46 positions would be eliminated if the "FR" continued to have no need for editorial cooperation with berlin. "So if things turn out the way they are now, management will approach the works council and begin negotiations," said bruser.

Until now, the "FR" got its coat content from berlin, from a pool of 27 authors. This was more than halved artfully. The additional 20-head joint editorial department for the production of the jacket parts was completely cancelled, and in addition, another 12 positions of the "berliner zeitung" are on the verge of being cut, the publisher listed at the end of november. According to bruser, nothing has changed in the figures.

According to its concept, the newly founded "frankfurter rundschau gmbh" wants to assemble permanent authors and freelancers around the greatly reduced "FR" staff. The cooperation with the editorial service provider pressedienst frankfurt (PDF) will be extended, PDF will take over the work of the former "FR"-editorial offices. The new shareholders did not initially provide any information on the future of the correspondent network.

In the future, editor-in-chief arnd festerling will be the sole leader of the editorial team. Rouven schellenberger, until now also editor-in-chief of the "FR" and responsible for the digital offering, is leaving the company at his own request, as it turned out.

The new "frankfurter rundschau gmbh" holds the title rights and, with its own editorial team, is also responsible for the digital edition of the newspaper, "FAZ" and frankfurter societat gmbh announced. The current tabloid offering is also to be retained. Printed the "FR" from 1. May on at the frankfurt societat printing plant.

On wednesday the federal cartel office had approved the takeover of the "FR. Hundreds of "FR" employees had already received their notices, most of them moving to a transfer company.

"We believe in the future of the frankfurter rundschau brand," said societat managing director hans homrighausen in frankfurt. It is possible to lead the FR to economic success and to give it a regional and supraregional perspective.

FAZ managing director tobias trevisan stressed that the "FR" would continue to be responsible for its own orientation: "it is not the intention of the shareholders to influence the political profile of the newspaper."Nor should articles from the "FAZ" and the "frankfurter neue presse" be taken over. Both newspapers are published under the umbrella of the fazit foundation, which has majority holdings in the "FAZ" and the frankfurt-based societats-druckerei.

In addition to the frankfurter societat, the new "FR" shareholders are the "FAZ" publishing house (35 percent) with 55 percent of the shares, and the karl gerold foundation with 10 percent. "The foundation’s constitution guarantees the orientation of the "frankfurter rundschau" as an "independent, left-liberal daily newspaper," the FAZ further announced. The previous editorial statute is also taken over.

After years of crisis, the "FR" filed for insolvency last november due to high losses. The main shareholders to date have been the kolner mediengruppe M. Dumont schauberg and the SPD media holding company ddvg.


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