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description German program guide
publishing company FUNKE Programmzeitschriften GmbH
Headquarters Hamburg
First edition December 11, 1946
Frequency of publication weekly
Sold edition 865,132 copies
( IVW 2/2020)
Widespread edition 866,958 copies
( IVW 2/2020)
Range 3.51 million readers
( MA 2020 I )
Editor-in-chief Christian Hellmann
Web link
ZDB 2479747-9

The Hörzu (until 1972 ! Listen To ) is appearing since 1946 and thus the first German TV magazine in 1945 (then 250,000 copies, 30 Pfennig, 12 pages, only radio program ). Its history is closely linked to that of the Axel Springer Verlag , where Hörzu was published until 2013.

Today Hörzu appears on Fridays with a circulation of 929,000 copies (as of 2019) by the Funke media group . The sale of Springer's magazine to Funke required the approval of the antitrust authorities.

History and Development


In the summer of 1945, after the Second World War, the broadcasting operation added to Germany again and next licensed newspapers also approved the publishing of program guides. The 33-year-old Axel Springer planned to enter the publishing business together with John Jahr senior and Max Schmeling and received a publishing license from the Allies on December 11, 1945 , not least because he was not a member of the NSDAP . It applied to the Altonaer Verlag Hammerich & Lesser , in which Springer published calendars and entertainment novels together with his father Hinrich .

After several license applications, for example for the daily newspaper Hamburger Telegraph or the program sheet Das hör die Welt , were rejected or withdrawn, Springer succeeded in taking over a broadcast-related publishing project. The British occupiers , namely Chief Controller Hugh C. Greene , wanted to distribute selected radio programs in printed form and would rather leave them in the hands of an independent publisher than leave it to the broadcasters themselves. In April 1946, Springer began to publish the Nordwestdeutsche Hefte , which printed reports from the NWDR's program.

License application and first edition

In the spring of 1946 Springer applied to the British Press Section to publish a program guide. He argued:

“There is no doubt about the need to publish the programs for political, economic, cultural and many other reasons. The radio stations, like the population, want a program magazine. The current state of broadcasting of the program (for example, BBC London every week asks its listeners to write down the program of the week with pencil and paper) can only be a stopgap solution, mainly due to today's lack of paper. We believe we can point out that the appearance of a radio magazine is one of the most urgent tasks of the publication. "

He also pointed out the successful collaboration with the NWDR on Nordwestdeutsche Heften and the publisher's many years of experience. In June 1946 he received the license to publish a program guide with the working title Radio-Post , and in the subsequent contract negotiations with the NWDR he had the exclusive right to print the programs in full. In addition to the short-term program preview in the daily newspapers , the NWDR should not approve any other program magazines for printing.

After initially selling a newspaper under the name Hört mit! was rejected by the British military government with reference to the warning slogan " Enemy is listening to " spread by the National Socialists , the approval of the name Hör Zu! . On December 11, 1946, one year after the publishing license was granted, the first edition of Hör Zu! . The print run of the twelve-page magazine was limited to 250,000 copies, the unit price was 0.30 Reichsmarks . The editor-in-chief Eduard Rhein addressed the readers in a greeting:

" Listen to not replace a magazine, not a Gazebo be with crochet and radio program, not flirt with the stage and the film. [...] Hör Zu considers broadcasting to be just a preliminary stage to colored, plastic television broadcasting. "

In terms of content, the first issues of Hör Zu offered reports on the NWDR, news from radio and television technology, portraits of the commentators and the obligatory technical question box that helped readers repair their radio receivers.

In close editorial cooperation with the editors of the NWDR, new series and radio plays were presented, surveys and competitions were offered. In the complete part of the program, a page was dedicated to each day of the week, with a box highlighting the broadcasting time from 8 pm to 10 pm. In addition to the program of the NWDR, the programs of the other German radio stations, the BBC , Paris and Paris Nationale were printed. A letter to the editor , a small crossword puzzle and jokes rounded off the magazine.


When, with the help of the European Recovery Program, the paper shortage and the associated limitation of print runs came to an end, the German magazine market set in motion. The currency reform of 1948 made German households more frugal, and many newspapers and magazines were facing economic ruin.

The removal of the license requirement also opened the market for non-political, reader-oriented products. The magazines not only provided their readers with reports, but also with colorful pictures. Quick and Revue multiplied their circulation.

At the same time, the previous editorial collaboration with the NWDR became less and less. The radio station also allowed other program magazines to print its radio programs, and a reorientation and restructuring was intended to ensure the economic survival of the Hör Zu! be the only way out.

From 1949 onwards, Hör Zu! the previous structure of the magazine to include elements from the popular magazines, for example recipes and serial novels, and deleted the technical reporting. Movies and stars became part of the reporting, and the magazines were approached with gossip . The magazine tried to create an “ideal world” for its readers, and the covers of the 50s and 60s had illustrations by the painter Kurt Ard depicting “typical” family situations.

Kiosk with advertising sign, Wuppertal 1961

In order to defend and expand its leading market position among TV guides, in September 1961 the Berliner Radio-Fernseh-Revue , which Springer-Verlag had taken over from the Ullstein Verlag , was merged with Hör Zu! united. The Radio-television revue in 1946 under its former name Radio Revue from Berlin publisher Heinz Ullstein as a radio program guide for the West Berlin radio station RIAS was established and was then temporarily after the acquisition of the Ullstein publishing house by Springer as a sister publication of Listen To! continued.

Generation change

In 1962 there was a drop in circulation. In 1965, the Bild-am-Sonntag editor -in- chief Hans Bluhm moved to the head of the editorial team. Bluhm managed to adapt the magazine to the market of the late 1960s and to do justice to the new entertainment medium of television without any significant change in the family character .

So lends Listen to since 1965 the annual " Golden Camera " and not focused longer just on film but on television actor . The headlines and photos have become larger, the magazine even more visual and generous.

In 1979 the print run was 4,438,600 copies.

"Listen" today

Today, the Hörzu is in an almost unchanged format, but the selection of the title topics is aimed more at an older audience. In addition to the tried and tested program reporting, general issues (nature, health) are the central element; sometimes also background information and production reports from television programs; Recipes, puzzles and jokes round off. The 3-color wheel of color television ( additive color mixing ) is still present in the logo .

Another fixed component is a four-page feature that takes up the topic of a current television documentary. There are often tips and advice on travel destinations, law and health. Since 1995 the cartoonist Wolf-Rüdiger Marunde has been drawing a mocking look at life in the country every week.

In addition to Hörzu , Funke Mediengruppe u. a. the program guides TV Digital , Gong and Bild + Funk , the content of which overlaps slightly with Hörzu .

In 2019, the print run was 929,030 copies.

A hedgehog as a trademark

With issue 43/1949, Hör Zu! an editorial mascot: the hedgehog Mecki . Based on advertising material for the animated film The Race between the Hare and the Hedgehog (1939) , Mecki was supposed to comment on editorial topics and “grumble” about possible abuses on the radio. Since it quickly became popular with readers, a comic with Mecki and his friends, Charly Pinguin and the Schrat appeared at first irregularly from autumn 1951, then weekly . Mecki became the trademark and central advertising medium of Hör Zu and appears again today in sequel stories (by the illustrator Johann Kiefersauer).

Program guide for children

In 1979 a child-friendly weekly program guide was launched under the name Siehste , but was discontinued the following year due to insufficient sales. The logo of Siehste the three points of the find Hörzu -Erkennungszeichens as part of a cartoon face again.


See also


  • Lu Seegers : TV Stars and "Free Love". On the career of the program guide “Hör Zu” (1965–1974). In: Zeithistorische Forschungen , issue 2/2004. ( Full text )
  • Lu Seegers: Listen! Eduard Rhein and the radio program magazines (1931–1965). Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 2001, ISBN 3-935035-48-9 .
  • Eckart Sackmann : Mecki - one for all. Hamburg 1994.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Axel Springer repels regional newspapers, program and women's magazines. In: Heise Online. July 25, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013 .
  2. Tim von Arnim: "And then I will build the largest newspaper house in Europe": The entrepreneur Axel Springer . Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / New York 2012, ISBN 978-3-593-39636-1 .
  3. LISTEN. In: Funke media group . Retrieved August 22, 2020 .