Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Medien Awards Printing Contract to External Partner
This decision will initially result in the temporary suspension and ultimately the cessation of in-house printing operations, affecting approximately 200 positions at the printing center and within RZZ Versand.
In a staff meeting held on-site today, employees were personally informed about this change. Following the meeting, the management teams of DuMont Druck and RZZ Versand will engage in the necessary discussions with the works councils. It’s important to note that the current in-house collective labor agreement for the printing staff remains valid until the end of 2023.
“We have successfully transformed DuMont into a leading media and technology enterprise in recent years, with our medium-term vision being the evolution into a fully digital enterprise. Upholding exceptional journalistic quality has always been our guiding principle in every decision we make as a family-owned business. Given the current circumstances, we saw no viable path for the overall development of the company. Irrespective of this business decision, we deeply regret the impact on our dedicated employees,” commented Isabella Neven DuMont and Christian DuMont Schütte, publishers of Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and EXPRESS. They also serve as Chairpersons and Vice Chairperson of the DuMont Supervisory Board.
Dr. Christoph Bauer, Chairman of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Medien Advisory Board and CEO of DuMont, further elaborated: “Over the past few years, we have continuously explored various options to reorient the printing center. However, we have reached the conclusion that our total investments have reached the end of their technical lifecycle. The lack of prospects for utilization growth and the emergence of additional cost increases have rendered further investments unsustainable. Therefore, this decision aligns with the implementation of our corporate strategy.”
With the reassignment of the printing contract to Mittelrhein Verlag, DuMont is providing Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Medien with the necessary flexibility to ensure the long-term production of its print products at a cost level that aligns with market standards for its readers. At this juncture, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Kölnische Rundschau and EXPRESS, along with a substantial portion of the advertising publications, will be presented in the slightly larger Rheinische Zeitung format. Both parties have chosen to maintain confidentiality regarding the economic intricacies of the printing contract reassignment.
Thomas Schultz-Homberg, CEO of Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Medien, stated: “The overall economic situation, with its current cost structure – particularly concerning paper, electricity, and gas price dynamics – along with the elevated cost level of our in-house printing operation, has necessitated our exploration of competitive alternatives for newspaper printing. With this reassignment, we secure the stability and growth of our organization, notwithstanding our heartfelt regret for the implications on the affected employees at our Cologne location. In the upcoming negotiations with the works council, we will diligently adhere to the legal and procedural frameworks and uphold all contractual obligations.”
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