From Essen to Europe
Since the mid-80’s, the WAZ Media Group with headquarters in Essen has been developing into one of the most important European media companies by means of its targeted domestic and foreign investments. Today the group employs around 11,000 workers.
The flagship of the media company is the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ). The licensed newspaper, which was launched by the founding editors Erich Brost and Jakob Funke on April 3, 1948, has remained until today the most successful newly established post-WWII newspaper. With an circulation up to 580.000 copies, WAZ takes first place among the regional newspapers in Germany.
Together with the editorially independent, yet economically cooperating titles Neue Ruhr Zeitung / Neue Rhein Zeitung (NRZ), Westfälische Rundschau (WR) and Westfalenpost (WP), the WAZ Media Group achieves a daily circulation in North Rhine-Westphalia of approximately 870,000 copies. The titles cover around 59 percent of the total area of the most populated state in Germany.
Financial interests in popular magazines and the publication of advertising journals in North Rhine-Westphalia followed foresighted commitments in Austria, Thuringia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Russia, Macedonia and Montenegro. In South-Eastern Europe, the WAZ Media Group assumed the role of an innovative trailblazer and investor. Where the WAZ-Group's holdings are based, it champions freedom of the press and a secure economic foundation of its partner publishing companies.
The WAZ Media Group is active in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Russia today. More than 30 daily and weekly newspapers, more than 170 special-interest and trade magazines, around 100 advertising papers and nearly 400 customer magazines belong to the group. The group also owns several printing works in Germany and abroad.
With the dynamism in the electronic media segment on the horizon, the WAZ Media Group boosted its activities there early. The group has financial interests in numerous local radio stations on the Rhine and the Ruhr, and is the majority shareholder in eleven of them. In July 2005, the WAZ Media Group sold the Bertelsmann AG its 20 percent share in the Holding BW-TV (Bertelsmann-WAZ-TV) which they operated together. Since 1996, the WAZ Group has been present with its subsidiary Cityweb Network in the online market. Furthermore, Cityweb, as the company’s own media service provider, advises and cares for many subsidiaries of the WAZ Media Group in the implementation of their internet concepts.
Service companies also are a part of the media company’s large portfolio. Among other things, the publishing company runs a private postal delivery service in Thuringia.