Germany's Frankfurter Rundschau files insolvencyJUERGEN BAETZ, Associated PressThe Associated Press
BERLIN -- One of Germany's major newspapers, Frankfurter Rundschau, has filed for insolvency in the latest blow to the country's once thriving media industry.
The insolvency of the lossmaking daily puts some 500 jobs in jeopardy. It was triggered by "massive revenue losses in the advertising and print business" that left no perspective to continue the company's operations, the owners said in a statement Tuesday.
The center-left leaning Frankfurter Rundschau is one of Germany's ten largest national newspapers with a daily circulation of about 120,000. It was one of the first to receive a publishing license by the American occupation authorities after World War II.
The daily is owned by media group DuMont Schauberg. A holding company owned by Germany's opposition Social Democratic Party also holds a small stake.
The paper has long been struggling and has introduced repeated lay-offs and restructurings.
"In light of the revenue slumps in the advertising and printing markets over the past years and in the first half of this year, we now have to acknowledge that all those efforts do not suffice to cope with the continuing high losses," the two owners said in a joint statement.
The employees' salaries are guaranteed by the government under German insolvency law through January, they said. The owners hope that the insolvency proceedings and a restructuring will allow them continue operating the newspaper and its online offshoot.
Frankfurt court judge Roland Gloeckner confirmed the insolvency filing, saying about 500 jobs are on the line.
While Germany has seen robust growth in recent years, business activity now seems to be stalling as the European debt crisis increasingly affects the bloc's biggest economy.
A decline in advertisements has also hit another prominent German newspaper, the lossmaking business daily Financial Times Deutschland, which has a daily circulation of about 100,000.
Publisher Gruner + Jahr plans to make a decision on the newspaper's future at a board meeting next week, according to German media reports. The publisher of the English-language Financial Times, Pearson PLC, sold its stake in the German paper in 2008.
Last month German news agency dapd filed for insolvency. It announced Monday that it plans to lay off 100 of its 300 employees to break even again by the end of the year to continue its news production.
Juergen Baetz can be reached on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jbaetz