The corporate restructuring at Axel Springer is taking shape. The company is streamlining its media business to focus on new business models. On the one hand, the media group is investing more than 100 million euros in the "Bild" and "Welt" brands over the next three years in order to make the news business more attractive and at the same time more efficient. On the other hand, however, in the course of the planned conversion jobs are deleted, among others, in editorial offices and the publisher.
He hopes to "focus and reduce structures in areas that are no longer growing," said the responsible board member Stephanie Caspar. "That requires cuts, unfortunately also with employees." How big the Jobabbau will turn out, left the company open.
The aim is to reduce costs by 50 million euros through close-knit editorial departments and staff cuts. "Bild" and "Bild am Sonntag" are to be brought together more strongly.
Above all, Springer wants to invest in a live video strategy. The strategy focuses primarily on the "image" and "world" brands: "Bild" should "become the most attractive live platform for news, entertainment and sports and, as Germany's largest media brand, also be placed on TV screens," it says in a corporate message.
In the "world" you want to put money in a network of experts and commentators. Above all, the "world" is expanding its payment business. In addition, the relocation to the new Axel Springer building with a common newsroom for TV, digital and print content will take place next year.
Both brands are aiming for a significant expansion of digital subscriptions. At the same time, the costs in the national news business are to be reduced by 50 million euros.
Due to the group restructuring and weaker business in some segments, Springer can no longer maintain its planned business targets for 2019. Turnover would decline in the low to mid single-digit percentage range instead of the low single-digit percentage range previously planned. The operating result (adjusted Ebitda) would fall between ten and 20 percent. So far, there has been talk of a decline in the mid-single-digit percentage range.
"World Compact" and "World Hamburg" are discontinued
The editors will feel the cost reductions through the conversion clearly. An editorial, cross-brand sports editorial team should provide common content for "Welt", "Bild" and "Sport Bild". Axel Springer hopes to tap into "new business models and target groups".
You want to save on the staff. In addition to early retirement and fluctuation, the Group wants to initiate a volunteer program. "We focus primarily on volunteerism, employee turnover and early retirement and will do everything in our power to support as much as possible this necessary change for all employees with an attractive package that also provides qualifications for other job profiles," said Springer Board Stephanie Caspar in a statement of the publisher.
The "BZ" concentrates entirely on regional contents, which it also supplies for the Berlin part of "Bild", conversely Bild delivers the supraregional contents of the "BZ" The work-day issues of the "Welt Kompakt" as well as the "Welt Hamburg" set. The business magazine BILANZ is editorially integrated into the WORLD. "Auto Bild" and "Computer Bild" will focus on the two main titles, successful special magazines and the development of new business models for the two strong brands. "Bild", including regional editions and "BZ"., "Bild am Sonntag" as well as "Welt" and "Welt am Sonntag" should continue as printed newspapers.
The background to the new strategy and the editorial consolidation are savings measures at Axel Springer with its approximately 16,000 employees worldwide. Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner had announced with the planned entry of the US financial investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) far-reaching changes for the listed media company. The Berliner Medienhaus sees its future above all in digital business fields. Döpfner dreams of forming the digital company into a worldwide market leader.