Evening News

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Evening News
description daily newspaper
Area of ​​Expertise boulevard
language German
publishing company Abendzeitung München Verlags-GmbH
First edition June 16, 1948
Frequency of publication working days (Mon-Sat)
Sold edition 38,154 copies
( IVW 2/2020, Mon-Sat)
Range 0.16 million readers
( MA 2017 II )
Editor-in-chief Michael Schilling
editor Martin Balle, Dietrich von Boetticher
executive Director Joachim Melzer
Web link Abendzeitung-muenchen.de
ISSN (print)

The evening newspaper , AZ for short , is a Munich tabloid newspaper . It was founded in 1948 by Werner Friedmann and was run by the Friedmann family until 2014. In July 2014 the paper was taken over by Martin Balle , publisher of the Straubinger Tagblatt , and another investor. The evening newspaper has since been continued by a downsized editorial team with a significantly lower circulation of 38,154 copies.


Since 1945 Munich has belonged to the US occupation zone . This zone was under the control of the US military government ("OMGUS") until the Federal Republic of Germany was founded . Ernst Langendorf from the OMGUS press control authority took the initiative in an international press exhibition in April 1948 to convey the role of the press for democracy to the people of Munich, Bavaria and Germany after National Socialism. In order not to show "mainly old newspapers from 1848 or any curiosities from press history", a working newspaper was set up in the exhibition hall in the Haus der Kunst , from teletype to the editorial office to the printer. Thanks to the Americans' special allocation of printing paper, the newspaper titled sheet became the first newspaper in post-war Germany that could actually appear daily; all others only appeared two to three times a week due to a lack of paper, with a length of four to six pages. Werner Friedmann , who was one of the license holders for the Süddeutsche Zeitung , became editor-in-chief . During the exhibition - for a period of 41 days between May 6 and June 15, 1948 - young journalists worked, whom Friedmann had borrowed from Süddeutsche and Münchner Merkur . They produced four to six pages a day, some with color printing. The daily newspaper covered all the classic sections: politics, business, culture, sport and local matters - it was geared towards the wishes of an assumed average reader and had a “quick” presentation with serious content. Readers' campaigns were innovative: a competition “Munich in 100 words” and the beauty competition that still exists today, originally under the title “Big Beauty Competition”, today “The beautiful woman from Munich”. The paper appeared every afternoon with a circulation of 70,000, of which 20,000 went on sale in Munich, the rest was delivered to all German occupation zones.

Foundation and concept

In the last edition of the exhibition, the editors announced that the paper could appear daily for another three months. Friedmann wanted a permanent license. He promoted his idea by wanting to start the newspaper as a non-profit organization. All surpluses should go to the education and training of young journalists. With this concept, Friedmann received a 23rd Bavarian license from the OMGUS press office, which was not actually intended, on June 16, 1948, and the first issue was published on the same day under the title Abendzeitung . The numbering followed on from the previous work, so that the edition appeared under the number 42.

The Werner Friedmann Institute was founded in parallel and in July 1949 was recognized as a non-profit organization by the then Bavarian state government. It supported around twenty young journalists who had already gained initial experience and were recommended by their editorial offices. The scholarship holders each worked for the evening newspaper for two years and received practical training there. The institute remained the publisher of the Abendzeitung until 1950, when the Die Abendzeitung GmbH publishing house was founded, in which Friedmann held two thirds and the publishing director of the Süddeutscher Verlag, Hans Dürrmeier, held a third. With this, the non-profit character was given up, but journalist training was further promoted through the Werner Friedmann Institute. In 1958 the publishing house was transformed into a limited partnership with the same name and the same shareholders. The German School of Journalism emerged from the institute in 1957 and was dissolved in 1959.

The evening paper was planned as a street- selling newspaper . The aim was to create a daily newspaper anchored in Munich that would appeal to many readers of tabloids as well as intellectual circles. The evening newspaper received, among other things, a more extensive cultural section and significantly longer texts than typical tabloids.


The evening paper developed slowly, the great time of the paper began when Werner Friedmann was able to devote himself completely to it from 1961. After an affair with an underage trainee at the Süddeutscher Verlag, he lost his job there in 1960 and was sentenced to imprisonment. He created the modern tabloid from what up until then had been described as “a more clear and airy, organized subscription newspaper”, which searches for sensations and offers scandals as well as gossip and personal reporting. Under his leadership, the edition of the paper rose from 85,000 (1961) to 185,000 (1965). In 1969, when Friedmann died, it was over 300,000 for the first time. From there it sank again and for a long time fluctuated between 220,000 and 250,000, until it sank to 185,000 in the newspaper crisis in 2000 and further to 148,000 by 2008. The “best-selling newspaper in Munich” for decades fell behind tz and Bild München.

After Werner Friedmann's death, Anneliese Friedmann and Johannes Friedmann, the founder's wife and son, became the long-time editors. The phase coincided with a massive upheaval in the Munich newspaper landscape: after Springer had announced a Munich edition of the Bild newspaper in 1968, the Münchner Zeitungsverlag, in which the Münchner Merkur appears, launched its own tabloid newspaper, tz , as a defense measure the market. In 1969 Bild-München appeared for the first time, so that within just one year the Abendzeitung was no longer the sole Munich tabloid newspaper, but instead had two direct competitors who came from strong publishing houses. AZ shareholder Hans Dürrmeier left in 1971, his shares were taken over by Alfred Neven DuMont . In 1987 Anneliese Friedmann bought Neven DuMont out, so that the publishing house passed into pure family ownership. The main circulation area of ​​the national newspaper is Munich and the adjacent parts of Upper Bavaria . The basic political stance of the paper is considered liberal and critical, but cannot be assigned to any party. In 1972, the evening newspaper was one of the first papers to introduce an editorial statute, in which the content orientation and character of the newspaper as well as the independence of the editors were laid down.

In 1952, the evening newspaper was the first German medium to introduce a society column, which was written by Johannes Baptist Obermaier under the pseudonym Hunter . He filled up to four pages a day and thus created the Munich society that later became known as the Schickeria , which he described as "more easy-going, funnier" than elsewhere. In 1970 Hunter was poached by the Bild newspaper, his successor as AZ gossip columnist was Michael Graeter . The television series Kir Royal , whose screenplay Helmut Dietl wrote with Patrick Süskind , is based on the story of the evening newspaper. The central figure was the gossip reporter Baby Schimmerlos , who was created on the model of Hunter and Graeter. Graeter also switched to Bild in 1984 and returned to the Abendzeitung in 2008.

Among the best-known authors of the evening newspaper were Sigi Sommer , who wrote more than 3,500 columns as The Walker between 1949 and 1987 , Dorothea Federschmidt , long-time feature editor and first woman ever in the AZ editorial team , and Werner Meyer , who was chief reporter for 37 years was. Munich's Lord Mayor Christian Ude , cabaret artist Django Asül , cabaret artist Lisa Fitz , writer Joseph von Westphalen and film critic Ponkie , who is still working for the paper, wrote regular columns . A drawing by Franziska Bilek appears daily in the local section . The evening newspaper received significant honors for the work of the state parliament correspondent Angela Böhm , who was awarded the Guardian Prize of the German daily press three times between 1990 and 2014 .

Former AZ employees include Helmut Fischer , Nils von der Heyde , Erich Böhme , Bernd Dost , Peter Glotz , Hans-Jürgen Jakobs , Sebastian Borger , Michael Jürgs , Arno Luik , Frank Plasberg , Marie Waldburg , Jan-Eric Peters , Andreas Petzold , Rafael Seligmann and Claus Strunz .

The evening newspaper was characterized by close reader loyalty. Telephone campaigns on current topics were often included in the paper, in which external experts were invited to the editorial office and readers could call them directly. The following day the typical questions were presented on the sheet.

Publishing building on Sendlinger Strasse until 2008

Until 2008, the evening paper missed some developments in the newspaper landscape. The takeover of the chief editor by the experienced Munich local journalist Arno Makowsky should change this. The newspaper became a local newspaper again with a focus on sport and culture. For several years a website was created with content prepared for online publication. At the same time, AZ left its traditional house on Sendlinger Strasse in September 2008 ; The Hofstatt shopping mall was built on the property . The editors moved to the Hopfenpost .

Due to "economic difficulties", the management decided in March 2010 to significantly reduce the number of employees in the editorial office and publishing house. Accordingly, 22 out of 80 positions in the editorial office should be cut, according to the Süddeutscher Zeitung, 40 out of 90 employees should be affected by the downsizing. In November 2010 AZ strengthened its local editorial team for Munich. The new head of department was Michael Schilling , his deputies Timo Lokoschat and Thomas Müller. Tina Angerer took over the newly created position of chief reporter in the local section.


On March 5, 2014, the evening newspaper filed for bankruptcy. Since 2004/2005 the publisher had made losses of around 70 million euros, 10 million of which in 2013 alone. The income from the sale of the former editorial office in Sendlinger Strasse and the Nürnberger Abendzeitung were completely used up. The owner family was unable to carry the losses on. As a first measure, the insolvency administrator raised the street sales price on weekdays from 60 cents to 1 euro.

Der Spiegel identified an absurdly expensive and long-term printing contractas the reasons for the decline of AZ , as well as a bleeding out of the newspaper's content, with only a brisk sports section remaining in the newspaper.

There were initially no interested parties for a continuation of the evening paper as a printed sheet. Dirk Ippen , publisher of Münchner Merkurs and tz , is said to have made an offer for parts of the company that would not have included the printed newspaper. In the event that the print edition was discontinued, the Süddeutsche Zeitung only wanted to continue the online presence of the evening newspaper .


On June 17, 2014 it was announced that Martin Balle , publisher of the Straubinger Tagblatt , and, as a minority owner, the Munich lawyer and former media manager Dietrich von Boetticher, will take over the newspaper along with the website.

The first edition under new management appeared on July 1, 2014 in a smaller format and with the subtitle “The face of this city”. Former managing director Christoph Mattes came to be in charge of advertising and sales. The Abendzeitung only had about 25 editors in the newspaper, plus about five to ten other posts; all other employees were transferred to an employment company. Editor-in-chief Arno Makowsky also had to leave, his successor was the previous head of the local affairs department, Michael Schilling. The evening newspaper was initially printed in Straubing, as the long-term, expensive printing contract could be terminated in the course of the bankruptcy. Initial plans and reports suggested that the editors would only write the local section, including the cultural section and local sports, which are traditionally very important for the evening newspaper . All other topics should have been compiled from the material provided by Straubing. This did not happen because of the favorable economic development. A full editorial team was established in Munich, which at the beginning of 2016 included 34 employed journalists and other freelancers and, on the contrary, now supplies material from Munich to the Balle-Blätter in Lower Bavaria.

Due to the pressure in Straubing and the initial start of printing at 7 p.m., the editorial deadline had to be moved forward, which prevented the possibility of current reactions to events in the evening in the initial phase. Therefore, the evening newspaper could not report the win of the soccer World Cup 2014 the next morning. By printing a partial edition in Traunstein since mid-September 2014, the newspaper was able to react to more recent events. Since a new rotary printing press was purchased in Landshut (at the Landshuter Zeitung, which is also part of the publishing group) in 2015 , the evening newspaper has been printed in Landshut since November 2015, so the editorial deadline could be moved to 11 p.m. The editorial offices in the city center were given up and the newspaper has been produced since then on the Mittlerer Ring in the Sendling-Westpark district .

After three months, the evening newspaper reported a sold circulation of around 40,000 copies, and thus well above the breakeven point, which was specified with 30,000.

Side expenses and expansion

In 1959, the evening newspaper founded a Sunday edition AZ am Sonntag in deliberate competition with Bild am Sonntag from Springer-Verlag . Werner Friedmann last tried to modernize it in 1968 in response to the establishment of a local Munich edition of the Bild newspaper . The AZ am Sonntag was never successful and was discontinued shortly after Friedmann's death in 1969 by his widow and successor.

The Nuremberg edition was created in 1964 by taking over the 8 o'clock page first published there in 1918 . Local and regional parts of culture and sport came from the Nuremberg editorial team, the main part with politics and business was taken over from Munich. At the end of the 1960s, the evening newspaper in Stuttgart tried to expand with a local start-up, and in 1990 the publishing house was experimenting with the Augsburg area by purchasing the Schwäbische Neue Presse . Both head leaves were discontinued after about a year.

In 2010 the Nuremberg edition and the associated advertising paper Der Frankenreport were sold to the Oschmann publishing group in Nuremberg , which, however, discontinued the paper in 2012 after the circulation fell.

In Munich and Nuremberg, the Abendzeitung was involved in founding the first private radio stations : Radio Gong 2000 in Munich (today Radio Gong 96.3) and Radio Gong Nürnberg (today Radio Gong 97.1. Both were founded in 1985 and 1986, respectively Abendzeitung sold its shares in 2011.



For over 40 years, the evening newspaper organized the charity event Stars in der Manege with Bayerischer Rundfunk . The proceeds went to retired journalists.


The evening newspaper is one of the German daily newspapers with the greatest loss of circulation in recent years. The number of copies sold has fallen by 75.8 percent since 1998. This corresponds to a decrease of 119,248 units. Before the bankruptcy in 2014, the sales situation was very much characterized by discounted copies: More than 40 percent of the circulation sold was given as part of special programs or as on- board copies , which hardly brought the publisher any proceeds. Under the new editorship, these shares were completely deleted. The edition is currently 38,154 copies. The share of subscriptions in the circulation sold is 46.6 percent, which is a comparatively high amount for a tabloid.

Development of the number of copies sold
Development of the number of subscribers

Online presence

The evening newspaper's website can be found at www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de. It reaches around 2.3 million unique users ( AGOF 1/2018) with 6.9 visits (IVW 1/2018) per month.


  • Katrin Nikolaus: Solid tabloid with pepper - The evening newspaper . In: Hans Wagner, Ursula E. Koch, Patricia Schmidt-Fischbach (eds.): Encyclopedia of the Bavarian daily press . Jehle-Rehm Publishing Group, 1990, ISBN 3-8073-0833-4 , pp. 125-136
  • Henning Kornfeld: The Boulevard Blues. In: journalist , April 2014, pp. 42–46.
  • Henning Kornfeld: Keep trembling. In: journalist , June 2014, p. 7.

Web links

Commons : Evening Newspaper  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Imprint of the evening newspaper .
  2. according to IVW , second quarter 2020, Mon-Sat ( details and quarterly comparison on ivw.eu )
  3. ^ Statement by Ernst Langendorf, quoted in Katrin Nikolaus 1990, p. 125
  4. a b c d e f g h i Paul Hoser 2016
  5. The prehistory is based on Nikolaus 1990, pp. 125–127
  6. Nikolaus 1990, p. 127
  7. Niklaus 1990, p. 129
  8. Nikolaus 1990, 126
  9. Nikolaus 1990, p. 134
  10. a b c Nikolaus 1990, p. 135
  11. Stern: Kir Royal is a bad provincial farce , October 16, 1986, pp. 68–72
  12. Münchner "Abendzeitung" is fighting for survival. Retrieved April 20, 2015 .
  13. a b Christian Jakubetz: Das Aus der AZ. In: Christian Jakubetz's blog, March 5, 2014.
  14. ^ Marc Felix Serrao: Radical job cutbacks. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . March 23, 2010.
  15. New faces for the AZ local section. In: Abendzeitung , 6./7. November 2010, p. 16.
  16. Münchner "Abendzeitung" files for bankruptcy. In: Süddeutsche.de . March 5, 2014, accessed March 5, 2014 .
  17. Münchner "Abendzeitung" files for insolvency. In: Spiegel Online . March 5, 2014, accessed March 5, 2014 .
  18. a b Primitive Management. In: taz . 17th April 2014.
  19. Klaus Brinkbäumer: Servus . In: Der Spiegel . No. 11 , 2014, p. 142-143 ( online ).
  20. Straubinger Verleger is awarded the contract for “Abendzeitung”. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. 17th June 2014.
  21. Publication secured: Evening newspaper saved: 66 years of age is not the end. In: evening newspaper. June 17, 2014, accessed June 17, 2014 .
  22. ^ A b New investor from Straubing: Provincial publisher wants to save "Abendzeitung". In: Spiegel Online . June 17, 2014, accessed June 17, 2014 .
  23. ↑ The future of the “evening newspaper” is becoming more concrete. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 25, 2014.
  24. Abendzeitung: IVW: AZ sells 48,445 copies daily . Abendzeitung-muenchen.de, October 20, 2014
  25. a b c Claudia Tieschky: Münchner Abendzeitung - Life after death . Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 3, 2016
  26. a b Savings concept works: New evening newspaper delivers profit . W&V, September 17, 2014
  27. Münchner "Abendzeitung" goes into the profit zone . wuv.de
  28. according to IVW , second quarter 2020, Mon-Sat ( details and quarterly comparison on ivw.eu )
  29. according to IVW , fourth quarter in each case ( details on ivw.eu )
  30. according to IVW , fourth quarter in each case ( details on ivw.eu )
  31. Evening newspaper: media data 2018