Falling demand for printed newspapers is leading to plant closures in Germany and Austria.
As reported, Axel Springer’s Ahrensburg printing plant near Hamburg is set to close in July 2024, but for others, closures are more imminent.
Production of daily newspapers in the Westfalen-Blatt Group for Bielefeld, Herford County, Paderborn County, Höxter County, Gütersloh County and Minden-Lübbecke County will move to the Westfälische Nachrichten printing plant when the Bielefeld-Sennestadt plant closes this week (July 31).
Some 54 employees are affected by the decision, which was notified to the works council on July 4. Aschendorff and Westfalen-Blatt merged their media activities in Münsterland and East Westphalia in 2019.
And in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, newspaper and commercial print at Druckhaus Waiblingen is scheduled to cease by the end of 2023, with about 100 of the 120 employees losing their jobs.
The company says shareholders decided “for economic and personal reasons” to relocate newspaper production to another site and to completely close the sheetfed division.
In a report, Print.de said the closure “joins the long list of many newspaper printing houses in Germany that have closed down, thus confirming the enormous changes in the media world”.
Besides Ahrensburg, gravure printer Prinovis in Ahrensburg is to close at the end of next January. Prinovis opened in 1967 and Springer in 1984.
In Austria, the decision to cease operation at Herold Druck in Vienna at the end of this year follows the closure of Wiener Zeitung – previously claimed to be the world’s oldest daily newspaper – at the end of last month. Production of free newspaper Heute will move to Mediaprint, according to trade magazine Graphische Revue.
The title of ‘world’s oldest daily print newspaper’ is understood to move to Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung, while Wiener Zeitung will continue online, with a monthly print edition.
Pictured: Druckhaus Waiblingen and (below) Druckzentrum Westfalen-Blatt