Vogel Communications Group

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Vogel Communications Group GmbH & Co. KG

legal form GmbH & Co. KG
Seat Wurzburg , GermanyGermanyGermany 
management Matthias Bauer (Chair), Günter Schürger
Number of employees 830
sales 99.8 million euros (2019, with minority holdings)
Branch Publishing house, agency
Website www.vogel.de
As of March 18, 2019

Vogel Communications Group campus, 2020
Entrance to the Vogel Communications Group, 2020

The bird Communications Group GmbH & Co. KG , based in Würzburg is a German provider of professional communication with around 830 employees. The core business consists of agency services (automated communication, corporate publishing, social media services, PR) and specialist media. Leading print and online media from various industries are produced. The specialist media include the titles Automobil Industrie , MM MaschinenMarkt , MM Logistik , kfz -betrieb , Konstruktionspraxis , IT-Business , IT-Insider-Portals, Elektronikpraxis , Process , bike und business , Elektrotechnik , Laborpraxis as well as the information services of IWW, which belongs to the group Institute for Knowledge in Business GmbH . In total, the specialist media offer includes over 100 print media, web portals and business events.

The Vogel Communications Group includes around 20 companies and holdings in twelve countries. In addition to the German-speaking market, the focus is primarily on Eastern Europe and Asia .



The core of the business is the specialist media activities, there are also several media service providers: ngn, Vogel Corporate Media, schoesslers PR, Integrate Social and DataM. Stefan Rühling was CEO from 2008 to the beginning of 2017. From mid-January 2017, this position was shared by the three managing directors Matthias Bauer (spokesman), Florian Fischer and Günter Schürger. Matthias Bauer has been CEO (Chief Executive Officer) since January 2019 and Günter Schürger is his deputy as COO (Chief Operation Officer). The chairman of the supervisory board is the publisher and shareholder Dr. Kurt Eckernkamp. The supervisory board is family-run and appoints the managing directors. The owner families Eckernkamp-Vogel (40%), Pugmeister (represents the branch of Karl Theodor Vogel) and von Wangenheim (30% each) all come from the founding Vogel family. Since 2015, the Vogel Foundation has been a foundation company with 16 percent of the shares in the Eckernkamp-Vogel family.

Locations and holdings

In addition to the headquarters in Würzburg, the company has other national branches in Augsburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Wiesbaden, Nordkirchen and Munich as well as international locations from Switzerland to India and China. The company's international activities include holdings and licenses in China, Korea, Thailand, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary, Switzerland via France and the USA.



The company was founded in 1891 by Carl Gustav Vogel (born September 26, 1868 - † March 8, 1945) in Pößneck / Thuringia . The fast success of the specialist publisher is based on the concept of the so-called "scattered and alternating dispatch " conceived by Carl Gustav Vogel. This is understood to mean the topic-dependent distribution of a trade journal to changing subscribers, whereby the entirety of the relevant target group is gradually reached. The first publication he edited was the "Internationale Briefmarken Offertenblatt". Others soon followed, in particular the "Maschinenmarkt" (trade journal of the year 2005 and 2015) founded in 1894 and still published today, the "Agrar Markt" (1919), the "Export Markt" (1921), the "Lastauto" (1924), "Motor und Sport" (1924, later: "Auto Motor und Sport") and the "Radio Markt" (1927). The founder's two sons, Arthur Gustav (* August 5, 1889; † June 23, 1958) and Ludwig Vogel, soon became active in the management of the publishing house in Pößneck, while Carl Gustav started the Vogel publishing house, similar to the German model from 1930 in Switzerland, where he died in 1945. At the beginning of the war in 1939, the company's workforce had grown to 940 employees.

War years

The business publishing house, which has always been politically neutral, went through a fateful development before and after the Second World War. Initially benefiting from the resurgence after the lost First World War, it soon fell out of favor with the Nazi regime due to its international orientation . The publisher, which with its commercial advertising did not fit into the propaganda press landscape of that time, was also faced with difficulties in other ways: The successful principle of bill of exchange was severely restricted due to a lack of paper, the typesetting formats for advertisements were significantly reduced. Finally, to cover war needs, material (mainly zinc ) was withdrawn from the printing works, and magazine discontinuation orders were issued to the publishers in a row. This catastrophic situation finally led from 1943 to the so-called "war working groups", i. H. Magazines with a similar topic from different publishers were forcibly merged, for example the “Industriebedarf”, a makeshift publication from four merged industrial titles. The high-quality specialist journals from the pre-war period had become offer papers again. In March 1945, the last purchase requests of a collapsing economy were packed on poor paper.

Arthur Gustav's two sons, Phillip and Karl Theodor, served in the army during the war. Phillip fell in France in 1944, Karl Theodor was taken prisoner in Schleswig-Holstein. When the 30th US Infantry Division marched into Pößneck at the end of the war and seized Vogel Verlag, Arthur Gustav tried to rebuild the publishing house. However, a Soviet officer was already inspecting the company in preparation for dismantling the facilities. He was then imprisoned, but was able to escape and on July 19, 1945 he reached Coburg, located in the US zone, where he was followed by prisoners of war Ludwig and Karl Theodor Vogel after they were released. After the escape of the "Vogels", the company fell into sequestration, ie expropriation . On March 16, 1945, the full dismantling of the publishing house began.


Ludwig Vogel (* July 23, 1900; † May 21, 1982) fought against expropriation and for the rebuilding of the publishing house in Pößneck. After all, he managed to establish the "Machine Market East", which he had to give up after the introduction of the planned economy in the Soviet occupation zone. The end was the decree of the Prime Minister of Thuringia in 1948, with which Vogel Verlag in Pößneck was expropriated and declared property of the people. Vogel rescued the remaining factory equipment, the proceeds of which were an important financial aid for the founding of the publishing house in Coburg , to the west.

Without machinery, only the publishing business came into question, and when the Americans gave general permission to publish textless advertising papers in July 1947, the publisher received the coveted paper reference slip from the Information Control Division (ICD). Arthur Gustav Vogel had prepared the restart of the publishing house in a 34 m² barrack in Neuses near Coburg. Together with his brother Ludwig and son Karl Theodor (* November 22, 1914; † July 5, 2007), five commercial employees, a typist, a city messenger and two apprentices, they gave the publisher's main title on February 12, 1948, the "Machine market" out again.

Many forcibly discontinued trade journals have now been relocated. But also the popular general-interest magazine “Motor und Sport”, combined with the title “Auto” by the two former racing drivers Paul Pietsch and Ernst Dietrich-Troeltsch, came from Stuttgart under the title “ Auto motor und sport ” in the jointly founded publishing house Motor Presse Stuttgart back on the market. Meanwhile, the management planned to relocate the company to a more convenient location with a history of printing and publishing. The ideal was found in Würzburg. Under the leadership of the architect von Lamatsch, already known from Pößneck, a new printing and publishing building was built. In 1952, the company finally began to gradually relocate from Coburg to Würzburg. With the death of Arthur Gustav in 1958, the Pößneck founding era finally ended.

Würzburg location

After Arthur Gustav Vogel's death in 1958, his son Karl Theodor Vogel succeeded him in managing the company. In 1966, the publishers decided to introduce a new management system, the Harzburg model, in addition to a more efficient design of work processes . The core of this approach developed by the Academy for Business Executives is the delegation of competencies and responsibility. As part of these new management regulations, Kurt Eckernkamp, ​​son-in-law of the publisher Ludwig Vogel, joined the company as designated successor in 1970. In 1978 he developed and published the first German computer magazine CHIP .

When the management structure was reorganized in 1974, operational and administrative duties were separated from one another. Kurt Eckernkamp and Friedrich Fischer took over the management and internationalized the Vogel Group's publishing business. In the mid-1990s, the transition from a family-run company to a management-run company and the establishment of a management holding company took place. On his 60th birthday, Eckernkamp transferred the operational tasks to the holding company management and became chairman of the supervisory board. From 2001 onwards, Claus Wüstenhagen took over the management of the Vogel Business Media holding company. After bundling the specialist media activities in Vogel Business Media, he continued the management from 2003 to March 2008. Stefan Rühling was then responsible for the management of the management-led family company until January 2017. This position was then shared by the three managing directors Matthias Bauer (spokesman), Florian Fischer and Günter Schürger. Matthias Bauer has been CEO (Chief Executive Officer) since January 2019, while Günter Schürger is his deputy as COO (Chief Operation Officer).

With the aim of multimedia communication of specialist information, Vogel Business Media turned increasingly to digitization from 2005 onwards. The Vogel Future Group, founded for this purpose, was commissioned to develop a digital business model. In addition, further acquisitions were made: vmm Verlag in Augsburg (now Vogel IT-Medien) for business journalism, Cypress in Höchberg , the IWW Institute (RWS) in Düsseldorf and in 2006 Compress AG in Zurich. In 2005, the company parted with its stake in Motor Presse Stuttgart (today Gruner + Jahr ) and the printing business (today Vogel Druck und Medienservice GmbH - part of the Bertelsmann Printing Group). The Vogel Convention Center (VCC), a conference and convention center, was built in 2006 in the former production facilities of the publishing company that were now available. In 2007 the joint venture Vogel Burda Medien, in which the computer magazine Chip appeared, was taken over in full by Hubert Burda Media . This was followed by the establishment of a Vogel Campus for knowledge, communication and encounter on the Würzburg company premises, with a start-up workshop. The Berlin activities have been expanded since 2011. Since June 1, 2018, the company has been operating under the new company name Vogel Communications Group GmbH & Co. KG and sees itself as a holistic service provider for B2B communication in the future.


  • Peter Johanek : The Vogel Story, a publishing house through the ages . Vogel Verlag, 1972, ISBN 3-8023-0517-5 . Detailed presentation of the company's history.
  • Gerhard Kase: Successful together 1891–1991 | 100 years of communication in the service of technology . Vogel Verlag and Printing, 1991.
  • 100 years of Vogel - Festschrift. Vogel Verlag and Printing, October 1991.
  • Networked Worlds 2016 - Markets Media People. Vogel Business Media GmbH & Co.Kg, Würzburg 2016.
  • An entrepreneur and his work (Dr. Kurt Eckernkamp on his 75th birthday, authors Dr. Robert Meier, Dr. Gunther Schunk, Michael Seufert), Vogel Business Media GmbH & Co. KG, Würzburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-8343-2403 -0 .

Individual evidence