RTL is centralizing its German publishing arm, as the European networks and media group continues to reshape its assets. More than 500 roles will be cut as the company aims to focus on "core brands" and bringing its publishing, TV and streaming businesses closer together.
RTL bosses say the reorg will result in €75M ($80.2M) of annual savings and €80M will be invested in digital transformation of its remaining publishing assets.
Publishing brands Stern, Geo, Capital and Stern Crime are being integrated into RTL News in Germany. This is due to "synergies with RTL Deutschland's TV editorial teams" and comes after RTL Deutschland and publisher Gruner + Jahr merged in November last year.
Other publishing brands such as Brigette, Gala and Hauser will remain under RTL's Gruner + Jahr Deutschland business and will "collaborate selectively" with RTL Deutschland's TV and streaming businesses.
All other titles will be sold or discontinued, and RTL Deutschland is entering into discussions co-shareholder Landwirtschaftsverlag Münster about the selling its shares in mag brand Deutsche Medien-Manufaktur and is evaluating its stake in 11 Freunde .
The changes will result in around 500 jobs losses across corporate functions, IT, publishing and editorial at RTL's Hamburg base. Another 200 jobs will be transferred to new owners through the planned title sales.
RTL has been assessing its publishing titles over recent months as it faces an increasingly tough local and international economy. The company has failed also been trying to sure up its TV assets, though planned network mergers in France and the Netherlands have been blocked by authorities. Production arm Fremantle has been tasked with doubling its revenues by 2025 and has done business worth $270M in the past two years.
Thomas Rabe, Chairman of RTL Deutschland and Bertelsmann and RTL Group CEO said: "Taking into consideration the rapidly changing media landscape and challenging macroeconomic environment, we have thoroughly reviewed RTL Deutschland's publishing business in recent months. We have decided to focus on the core brands and by 2025, we will invest around €80M in their future development. Our goal is to further strengthen RTL Deutschland's leading position and journalistic relevance."
"The combination of RTL Deutschland's TV, streaming and publishing businesses makes sense. This will create significant synergies of around €75M annually in important areas such as content creation, advertising sales, tech and data and corporate functions. The close integration of our brands and programmes offers our customers and partners cross-media reach, enabling us to reach almost every German household."
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