What is spark

You ask - we answerWho are Funke Media Group and Editorial Network Germany?

Media change and circulation crisis regardless of market concentration - Germany still has one of the most diverse newspaper markets in the world. But where in the past almost only the nationwide quality papers, some regional newspapers and the newspaper with the four capital letters appeared in the news, now new names are pushing forward. For example the "Funke Mediengruppe" and the "Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland".

Who are these media groups and where do they all come from? And why do they make it into the "Tagesschau" or the Deutschlandfunk-Nachrichten, even though not a single newspaper has that name? These are the questions that listeners and users ask us. Here is our answer.

the essentials in brief

Both the "Funke Mediengruppe" and the "Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland" have something to do with long-established newspaper companies and are the result of restructuring, but also of austerity measures. "Funke" is the new name of the WAZ group. The "editorial network" is the central editorial office of the Hanover-based Madsack publishing group. In both cases, the companies decided to use an umbrella name to advertise the interview and research content of their numerous newspapers. They only bet on one brand at a time and hope to make them better known. Politicians and other interviewees like to speak to these central editorial offices. In this way you can reach millions of people with a conversation, a quote or information. In addition, the distribution via the news agencies is almost certain.

Now for the more in-depth part, if you have a little time left.

Deep in the west - from WAZ to spark

The Funke media group still sounds unfamiliar to many, even though it is a traditional company. It has its roots deep in the west, in the Ruhr area. In 1948 the "Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung" was founded in Bochum. After buying up other titles, the group called itself "WAZ newspaper group" from the mid-1970s, and meanwhile had its headquarters in Essen.

In 1997 it became the "WAZ Media Group", the managing director of which was the former Chancellery Minister Bodo Hombach for many years. In 2012, the owner family Brost left the house, and the way was clear for the remaining owners of the Funke family to give the house their own name. Since then, the Funke media group has had to cope with a number of controversial waves of savings and cuts. In 2014, according to de.statista.com, it had sales of a good 1.18 billion euros.

Central Europe - and many daily newspapers in Germany

Funke has holdings in Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Well over 100 general-interest and specialist magazines, over 70 advertising papers and 400 customer magazines belong to the group, as well as local radio stations and Internet offers. Above all, there are twelve daily newspaper titles in Germany: the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, the Neue Ruhr / Neue Rhein Zeitung and the Westfälische Rundschau, the Westfalenpost, the Thüringer Allgemeine, the Ostthüringer Zeitung, the Thüringische Landeszeitung, the Braunschweiger Zeitung, the Harz Kurier in Osterode, the Hamburger Abendblatt and the Bergedorfer Zeitung in Hamburg as well as the Berliner Morgenpost. A large part of the contents of these sheets is produced or exchanged jointly.

The next step came with the founding of the Zentralredaktion in Berlin in 2015: It supplies the group's print and digital media with national topics. Your research and interviews for all titles are marketed centrally with the label "Funke Mediengruppe", for example through news agencies.

Editorial network Germany - brand from Hanover

The case of the "Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland" (RND), which incidentally calls itself the "RedaktionsNetzwerk" with its fashionable interior major, is similar, but somewhat different. There is even more tradition here than with the Funkes: the RND belongs to the Madsack media group based in Hanover. The name goes back to August Madsack, who first published the "Hannoversche Anzeiger" in 1893.

The Madsack Group is 23 percent owned by the German printing and publishing company DDVG, which manages the SPD's media holdings. For 2015, the group reported total sales of 669.4 million euros.

Blue light shines (November 18, 2014) in the Madsack newsroom "RND Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland GmbH" in Hanover. (dpa picture alliance / Ole Spata)

Madsack is also about advertising papers, online business, TV productions and radio. The group mainly includes fifteen daily newspapers: The Aller-Zeitung (Gifhorn), the Dresdner Neuesten Nachrichten, the Gelnhäuser Zeitung, the Göttinger Tageblatt / Eichsfelder Tageblatt, the Hannoversche Allgemeine, the Leipziger Volkszeitung, the Lübecker Nachrichten, the Märkische Allgemeine, the Naumburger Tageblatt, the Neue Presse, the Ostsee-Zeitung, the Peiner Allgemeine, the Schaumburger Nachrichten and the Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung.

The company name has remained

"Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland", or RND for short, is - unlike the "Funke Mediengruppe" - not the new name of the group. Madsack is still called Madsack, but has set up a central editorial office in Hanover. It supplies its own newspapers as well as partners such as Kieler Nachrichten or Hildesheimer Allgemeine with content. Wolfgang Büchner, former editor-in-chief of "Spiegel" and "German Press Agency", has been running the RND since January 1st, 2017.

On its own website it says: "The RND writes and produces individually tailored packages from the text module to the complete page: The content: well-researched news, exclusive correspondent reports, reports, sophisticated layouts in three newspaper formats, a weekend journal and tailor-made content for online Portals. "

And that should now become even more visible: At the end of December 2016, Madsack decided that all of its own papers should have the subheading "Partners in the editorial network Germany" in the so-called newspaper header, i.e. on the front page.

The newspaper market remains on the move

The Funke Mediengruppe and Madsack with its editorial network currently seem to have a good chance of establishing the new names on the market, even if they seem quite bulky. And what is the competition doing?

The DuMont media group also relies on a central capital editorial office. DuMont includes Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and Kölnische Rundschau, the Express, the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, the Berliner Zeitung, the Berliner Kurier and the Hamburger Morgenpost. In contrast to Funke or Madsack, the work of the Zentralredaktion is marketed decentrally, that is, the products of the DuMont editorial community operate under the individual newspaper titles. So the people of Cologne are using a different strategy than Funke and Madsack.

A lot will continue to happen in the media name and news brand market. We try to keep an overview for you. If you have any questions, including on other topics, please write to us at [email protected]