Circulation numbers are down a stomach-churning 10% in 1st Quarter 2016 alone
Alternative German media are booming
Originally Appeared at KOPP Online. Translated from the German by Susan Neumann
You can see it coming, you know it instinctively, you warn about it and write about it. Then everything comes out much worse than anyone could have predicted. And they had secretly hoped that somehow a miracle would save them – that the soothsayer inside them might just turn out to be wrong. Then the German IVW, [which does the sales auditing for the amount of publications sold within a given period,] presents us with the bill for the first quarter of 2016. And it's much worse than anyone had feared: double-digit losses for the number of mainstream tabloids sold in Germany. The readers are running away in droves…
Der Spiegel: minus 10.2 percent
Frankfurter Allgemeine: minus 8.9 percent
Bild: minus 10.1 percent
And when you take out the red herring publication “B.Z.” from the BILD/B.Z. group (1,997,319), that amounts to 1.8 million BILD publications that are in paid circulation — that’s with throwing a few more rags into the count.
So after 15 years of dominating the newsstands, the BILD gravediggers have driven away a good 3 million of its readers.
That’s a bitter morning gift for the newly designated executive editor of BILD, Tanit Koch. There was a time when BILD had five million buyers. Per day.
Reader-flight is indeed cruel. Der Spiegel, with Stefan Aust at the helm, often loses more than one million sold publications per week. For single publications sold through retailers (POS), the loss is registered at 18.4 percent. Focus, which was so vehemently put into circulation under Helmut Markwort, tumbled a whopping 25.1 percent. And famous for its “Hitler Diary Hoax”, Stern magazine lost 22.5 percent.
Even the Alps-version of Pravda — the Süddeutsche Zeitung — dropped 2.5 percent of its otherwise solid (leftist) readership. The increasingly leftist-leaning Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) was given the “Schwedentrunk” — minus 11.7 percent. That makes only 254,000 tabloids in paid circulation. The once giant sister-tabloid Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) is, with 252,700 publications, now smaller than its smaller version, FAS. It wasn’t allowed to have much else.
Die Welt is being punished for its connection to Die Zeit and a smooth chief editor, Jan-Eric Peters: minus 10.5 percent loss, there. That leaves 180,059 publications sold. The hard currency, the single-publications, experienced a 43 percent drop. That means that, after deductions, only 12,511 copies remain on the books. Print and delivery costs might very well chip away at what’s left of the profits.
Stefan Aust (70), who’s been trying to row Die Welt out of the gurgling mainstream since January, will need the combined strength of both Sisyphus and Atlas if he wants to reach the shore. The only thing that would stop him from reaching the shore is if Springer Publishing CEO Döpfner gives him that which made him executive in his day: fifty million in advertising. And if Aust did manage to succeed in rescuing [Die Welt] from the pavlovian conditioning of Merkel’s subjugation, then readers could (perhaps) respond positively again.
There’s the rub. What’s gone is gone and to get readers to come back will cost money and ….time. Whoever lies in the beginning has no credibility, even when he starts telling the truth afterwards. The BILD has recently taken on a more desperate note in its continuing attempt to dissuade its readers. Most recently it tried on the issue of Thilo Sarrazin, who is, by virtue of himself, an outlaw and an untouchable.
Translator’s note: Thilo Sarrazin is a German politician, who is most famous for his book, Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany abolishes itself”) from 2010, which sparked a nationwide controversy over the negative aspects of Germany’s post-war immigration policy.
For years, readers have been slandered “rightist vermin”, “evil-minded Germans”, or “Nazis” by the interpretation police à la School of Merkel. They’ve just about had it. The money that readers spend on [mainstream media news sources] would be better off invested in their gardens, or getting drunk after Bavaria, Borussia, or Schalke win a football match.
Sitting on their padded recliners, how little the opinion oligarchs have realized that all this has to do with them and their know-it-all attitudes. Time and time again, they try to point us to the easily disregardable conspiracy theory. Whether it be the ban on cash, migration as a weapon, or the oil war; the interpretation police of magazines, television, and radio all speak in unison: all conspiracy theories.
This sends socialists and ex-communists disguised as democrats into a mad, panting rage after the authors, who they say should be “monitored” or “fired”. Even the wise guys at Handelsblatt can be caught sneering: “Conspiracy theories making the rounds”. What about this: the British Daily Mail openly called the flow of refugees “Putin’s weapon of mass destruction” (03.05.2016).
For years, the upper echelons of about 10,000 elitists from politics and media have hammered on the people of Germany. They’ve bludgeoned the people semantically, indirectly, emphatically or indignantly: If you don’t be nice to millions, and if you don’t live the way we tell you to, you will be tarred and feathered.
You shouldn’t be Christians anymore. The priests will mislead your kids, anyway. And yet you shall honor the faith of the Muslims (despite all the stoning and beheading). So what if Erdogan says, “the mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets”! Their women wear burqas? So what! Get rid of those mini-skirts! The Muslim kids are harassing Christian and Jewish children? Watch it, you Nazi! Most of the refugees are young, strong, but yet uneducated men? That’s nonsense. The TV proves every evening that all refugees are mothers with children. Most of the sexual crimes are committed by Turks, Afghanis, or Iraqis? How do you know that? You’ll never read that in our newspaper, never…
Those taking tabs on parliamentary representation are wondering how it could be that the SPD is losing one election after another. The SPD has plunged past the 20 percent mark. The Turkish sultan (still) extends his hand to Ms. Merkel, while at the same time threatening, “I’ll sic another million refugees on you if you don’t grant all Turks visa-free travel.”
The executive editors adjust themselves in their expensive office loungers, sell off the family silver of the publishing houses, and downsize the editorial staff to the point of nothingness. All the while, they try to find the reason why their readers are abandoning them. Once out of the disaster, they have learned nothing.
Last night it was announced (Pst Pst!) that Greenpeace — one of the spearheads of the "league of particularly good people"— crashed from 98 to 56 percent in the popularity ranking. The current management is deeply shaken up about this….
Of course they’re shaken up. The last manager of the self-proclaimed “savior of mankind” collected a salary of more than 10,000 euros per month.
Luckily, there’s not only Pegida and AfD, there’s also the [possibility of a] large coalition of CDU, SPD, Greens and sometimes FDP.
What if these mega coalitions become too small at some point? Then I say to our new arrivals: give us another four years …?!?
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