Cicero (magazine)

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Name logo
description political magazine
language German
publishing company Res Publica Verlags GmbH ( Germany )
Headquarters Berlin
First edition April 2004
Frequency of publication per month
Sold edition 49,179 copies
( IVW 2/2020)
Widespread edition 50,810 copies
( IVW 2/2020)
Range 0.51 million readers
Editor-in-chief Christoph Schwennicke , Alexander Marguier
editor Christoph Schwennicke, Alexander Marguier
Web link
ISSN (print)

Cicero - magazine for political culture is a monthly political magazine in Germanywith a conservative orientation. It is produced in Berlin by Res Publica Verlags GmbH. It was founded by Wolfram Weimer in 2004 and published by him until 2010. Christoph Schwennicke has been editor-in-chiefsince May 2012, who has also published the magazine since May 2016, together with co-editor-in-chief Alexander Marguier . The sold circulation is 49,179 copies, a decrease of 25.7 percent since 2005.


In the spring of 2004, the journalist Wolfram Weimer founded the magazine for political culture with the aim of establishing a counterpart to the major US magazines The New Yorker and The Atlantic in German. At the same time, Cicero was to become the first political magazine from Berlin . The project was financed by the Ringier publishing house, which publishes the tabloid Blick and other publications in Switzerland .

Cicero has been published by Res Publica Verlag, which was founded as part of a management buy-out , since May 2016 .

Employees and departments

Wolfram Weimer was the founder of Cicero and its editor-in-chief until January 31, 2010 . On February 1, 2010, the previous Zeit editor and SPD politician Michael Naumann took over the position of editor-in-chief at Cicero . In May 2012 he was replaced by Christoph Schwennicke . As part of a management buy-out , the title was taken over by Schwennicke and Alexander Marguier on May 1, 2016.

Alexander Marguier is also editor-in-chief, previously he was head of the “Society” department at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung . The economic department is headed by Bastian Brauns, the cultural department head is Alexander Kissler . Moritz Gathmann is responsible for the Resort Berliner Republik . Bastian Brauns heads the online editorial team . Viola Schmieskors heads the art direction. Antje Berghäuser is responsible for the picture editing.

In addition to well-known guest authors (the cover story of the first edition was written by the then Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder ; the second edition was written by Martin Walser ), a solid group of journalists regularly work for the Cicero , including Maxim Biller , Wolfram Eilenberger , Wladimir Kaminer and Klaus Harpprecht . For a while there was a column by the German Oscar winner Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck .


The art on the cover and a long editorial dedicated to the authors are followed by the four sections Weltbühne (foreign policy), Berlin Republic (domestic policy), capital (economy), salon (society, culture). The magazine uses a red tone as its corporate color and large-format photos and caricatures .

The following special editions of the Cicero have appeared so far :

  • In 2006 the Cicero Double-Edition appeared with a black and white edition available at the kiosk and a second color edition that can be requested free of charge . Both editions were editorially completely different, but interwoven with one another.
  • In 2007, a Cicero edition was published with 160,000 individualized covers and, for the first time worldwide, 160,000 different BMW advertisements.
  • In 2008/2009 a Cicero XXL edition was published in double size (approx. 28 × 40 cm). Like the Double Edition from 2006, the XXL edition was also sold at the usual price.
  • In 2012, a Cicero - Tatort edition was published, the cover of which showed the Tatort commissioners of the closest Tatort scene . There were a total of 20 different Tatort covers.
  • In 2015, the July issue appeared with two different covers on the GEZ funding of the public broadcasters. The covers referred to the ARD (aggressive looking mouse with cigar) and the ZDF (aggressive looking Mainzelmännchen with cigar).
  • In 2019 the November edition of Cicero appeared with four different covers for possible CDU chancellor candidates ( Markus Söder , Armin Laschet , Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn alongside Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer ).


Although no new political magazine has survived on the German magazine market since Focus (1993) was founded and a similar attempt with the TransAtlantik had already failed in the 1980s, Cicero was able to establish itself on the market with a current circulation of 49,179 copies . The number of copies sold has fallen by 25.7 percent since 2005. The decline in sales in 2016 is due to the reduction in reading circles and on-board copies after the change of publisher. The share of subscriptions in the circulation sold is 61.4 percent.

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

Political orientation

Cicero's editorial line is described as bourgeois and liberal-conservative. Particularly in its early phase, the magazine was given attributes such as “modern-conservative” or “magazine of eco-conservatives”. When the SPD politician Michael Naumann took over the post of editor-in-chief in 2010, Alexander Görlach of The European accused him of shifting the paper to the left. Naumann denied this and claimed that the categories “left” and “right” no longer had any meaning in the current political landscape. When he became editor-in-chief in 2012, Christoph Schwennicke declared that Cicero should “be like Joachim Gauck [...] left, liberal and conservative”. In December 2014, the cover story criticized the isolation of Europe and a “the boat is full” mentality and portrayed refugees.

Since the refugee crisis in autumn 2015, however, the magazine took - earlier and more clearly than other media - a clearly critical stance on Angela Merkel's politics . Thereupon the taz , the publicist Liane Bednarz and the anti-fascist magazine Derrechte Rand , among others, stated a shift to the right by Cicero . The claims of an “invasion of the powerless from distant cultures”, a “state doctrine of welcome culture”, “left ideological welcome media” and “self-aligning” public broadcasting or the “restructuring of the population of Germany” by the refugees were cited as examples . Statements by Peter Sloterdijk about a “waiver of sovereignty” by the federal government and a “overrun of Germany” by refugees were accepted in the interview without critical inquiries. Michael Kraske, a freelance writer for Cicero , accused the editors-in-chief of censorship because they rejected a critical text about Thilo Sarrazin . The taz editor Anne Fromm identified the head of the cultural department Alexander Kissler as a radical force in the Cicero editorial team : he wrote “often on the border with right-wing populism”, defending Sarrazin and Akif Pirinçci .

Stefan Winterbauer, on the other hand, rejected the charge of right-wing extremist agitation against Cicero in the Meedia industry service in September 2016 : There were long articles criticizing Merkel's refugee policy, but also articles about "liberal Muslims" and a "model refugee". In April 2017 in the journal Journalist , Catalina Schröder described her impression that “AfD ideas are packaged so elegantly in the Cicero that it sounds bourgeois when you first listen”. In an article for the Übermedien branch , Arno Frank Cicero described in November 2019 as “For far left to right, for far right to center”. A tendency is "recognizable, ideology rather not".

Search (Cicero Affair)

In September 2005, the Potsdam public prosecutor had the editorial offices of the magazine searched . The occasion was the article The Most Dangerous Man in the World in the April issue, in which the journalist Bruno Schirra portrayed the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab az-Zarqawi and quoted information from classified information from the Federal Criminal Police Office . It was a detailed evaluation report dated September 6, 2004 with 125 pages and 392 footnotes. The German press criticized the search as an attack on independent journalism , drawing parallels with the Spiegel affair of 1962. Cicero editor in chief Weimer and Schirra was aid to the disclosure of secrets accused. FDP , Die Grünen and DieLinkspartei.PDS considered a parliamentary committee of inquiry . In October 2005, a special meeting of the Bundestag Interior Committee took place at which the politically responsible Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily was supposed to take a position in a closed session on allegations of the public prosecutor's office that the search of Cicero initiated on suspicion of betrayal of secrets was disproportionate .

On November 21 and 22, 2006, the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court negotiated the matter and ruled on February 27, 2007 that the search had represented a significant encroachment on the freedom of the press . It was therefore unconstitutional ( Cicero judgment , Az: 1 BvR 538/06). According to the ruling, the mere suspicion that a journalist might have assisted in betraying secrets is not enough to search an editorial office. For such an encroachment on the freedom of the press, there would have to be concrete evidence that a carrier of secrets wanted to bring about the publication of protected information. Only then could a journalist be prosecuted for aiding and abetting. In addition, searches are not permitted if they only serve to determine the identity of an informant ; this was the case with Cicero . The decision of the Constitutional Court was seen by commentators as an important contribution to protecting the freedom of the press in Germany. However, other commentators have also criticized this point of view.

The events received widespread media attention as the Cicero affair .


At the LeadAward 2019, the Cicero editors-in-chief Alexander Marguier and Christoph Schwennicke were awarded the bronze prize in the category " Journalist of the Year - Magazine Debatte".

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ [1] In: AWA website.
  2. ^ Cicero, monthly magazine. In: - The daily look in Europe's press. Retrieved January 10, 2019 .
  3. a b Björn Czieslik: Ringier sells “Cicero” and “Monopol” , on from Feb. 17, 2016
  4. according to IVW ( details on )
  5. Not feeling the sword of Damocles is very liberating ., February 19, 2016.
  6. Christoph Schwennicke becomes the new editor-in-chief of Cicero. In: Cicero. February 7, 2012.
  7. [2] In: .
  8. [3] In: .
  9. according to IVW , second quarter 2020 ( details and quarterly comparison on )
  10. according to IVW , ( details on )
  11. according to IVW , fourth quarter in each case ( details on )
  12. according to IVW , fourth quarter in each case ( details on )
  13. "Cicero": "No more value-conservative paintwork"? In: Pro - Christliches Medienmagazin , April 21, 2010.
  14. “The accusation of the left jerk was unfounded”. In: Meedia , December 30, 2010.
  15. Catalina Schröder: Explain the world with a right-hand twist. In: Journalist , No. 4/2017, p. 53.
  16. ^ A b c Anne Fromm: Shift to the right in the magazine "Cicero" - a new tone. In: taz , July 2, 2016.
  17. a b c Stefan Winterbauer: Cicero after the separation from Ringier: encouraging figures and ugly accusations. In: Meedia , September 28, 2016.
  18. ^ Charles Paresse: "Cicero". In: derrechte rand , issue 172, May 2018.
  19. Catalina Schröder: Explain the world with a right-hand twist. In: Journalist , No. 4/2017, p. 54.
  20. Arno Frank: For far left to right, for far right to center In: Übermedien . Last accessed on January 13, 2020.
  21. Bruno Schirra : The text that triggered the Cicero affair. In: Cicero. April 30, 2014.
  22. Robert Leicht : There is no case of “Cicero”. In: The time . October 6, 2005.
  23. Lead Awards 2019 - The winners . Last accessed on January 13, 2020.