History of the Rheinsche Post Mediengruppe

In 1946 the Rheinische Post was one of the first newspapers to receive its licence following the Second World War. It has developed significantly since then: a newspaper publisher has become an internationally operative media enterprise. Today the Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe publishes numerous printed and digital media, offers services and continues to expand its involvements.

Karl Arnold
Anton Betz
Erich Wenderoth

Karl Arnold (1901-1958)

Karl Arnold is a key figure in the political development of West Germany after 1945. He was one of the founders of the CDU, mayor of Düsseldorf, later the first elected Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and the first President of the Bundesrat – the Upper House of the German Parliament. During the Nazi period Arnold had consorted with the resistance movement and, due to his credibility, he was a liaison officer of the British occupying forces and well suited to helping shape the democratic new beginning.

Dr. Anton Betz (1893-1984)

From 1930 the doctor of law and political science was managing director and publishing house director of Knorr & Hirth, Munich, to which above all the Münchener Neueste Nachrichten belonged. Betz was arrested in 1933 on account of his beliefs and following his release he was persecuted up until the end of war. Dr. Anton Betz was one of the publishers to whom the British military government offered the founding of new German newspapers. Betz was politically very active; he was one of the founders of the CDU in the Rhineland and was a city councillor in Düsseldorf. Later on he was president of the BDZV and vice-president of the international association of publishers FIEJ.

Dr. Erich Wenderoth (1896-1993)

At the age of 26 the lawyer Erich Wenderoth was the youngest assessor at the public prosecutor's office in Düsseldorf. After having defended persecuted and oppressed people as a lawyer at the higher regional court in Hitler’s Germany, the British military government employed him to administer and liquidate the Nazi party’s assets. His motive for the establishment of the Rhei­ni­sche Post was to create a new free newspaper that would accompany, promote and strengthen the democratic reconstruction.

Event from 1946 to 2019 at one look

The first issue of the Rheinische Post is published

The Rheinische Post is one of the first newspapers in the British zone to receive its licence after the Second World War. The founders of the new, Christian-orientated newspaper are the experienced journalist and newspaper publisher Dr. Anton Betz, the mayor of Düsseldorf at that time and later Prime Minister of NRW Karl Arnold and the respected lawyer and committed protestant Dr. Erich Wenderoth. In the assembly hall of the Düsseldorf city council, Dr. Anton Betz receives the licence for the newspaper, which initially could only be published twice weekly. There are orders for one million copies, but paper is in short supply. The newspaper circulation is therefore 235,000 copies; a copy costs 20 pfennigs. The headlines read: ‘Extreme efforts to keep Germany supplied’ and ‘Food rations reduced’. Karl Arnold says: “We are at a new beginning and this newspaper is in every respect an image of the hour – a picture of meagreness and a modest beginning.”

The newspaper appears six times per week

Following the currency reform the circulation restrictions for the newspaper are dropped. At last there is enough paper for the Rheinische Post to be published six times a week. Construction of the first own publishing house at Schadowstrasse 11 in Düsseldorf.

New publishing house

The new publishing house is built at Blumenstrasse 14-16. 

Merger with the Droste family: first own print shop

The Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe obtains its own print shop through the merger with the Droste publishing house, which has manufactured the major part of the newspaper’s circulation in the print shop in the city centre of Düsseldorf since 1946. The Droste family becomes a partner in the publishing house of the Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe.

Establishment of the Anton Betz Foundation of the Rhei­ni­sche Post

The media group establishes the Anton-Betz-Stif­tung der Rhei­ni­schen Post e.V. (Anton Betz Foundation of the Rheinische Post reg. assoc.) for the promotion of science and research. The foundation, which bears the name of the founding publisher Anton Betz, especially supports the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf as well as many institutions and projects in the circulation area of the Rheinische Post.

Construction of the printing centre in Düsseldorf-Heerdt

The print shop on Martin-Luther-Platz in the city centre of Düsseldorf becomes too small. The media group establishes the new Düsseldorf printing centre on the left bank of the Rhine in a location favourable for traffic on the A 52.

Establishment of the Anzeigen-Cooperation Nordrhein

The Anzei­gen-Coope­ra­tion Nord­rhein (ACN) is founded. Ten leading daily papers, including the Rheinische Post, bundle services for advertising customers: With a single order an advert appears with an optimum placement in all ten papers. The Rheinische Post is heavily involved in the founding of Prisma, the new TV magazine for the newspaper.

Co-operation with Verlagshaus W. Girardet

In 1976 the Rheinische Post and Verlagshaus W. Girardet establish their first co-operative companies in the print and distribution sectors. These are subsequently followed by the sectors IT, administration services and advertising papers.

A new home for the editorial office

The RP House is built at the Düsseldorf printing centre. The central editorial office of the Rheinische Post and the advertising division are given their new home here. The relocation from the city centre to the modern office building in Düsseldorf-Heerdt is accompanied by the introduction of new data technology. 

Acquisition of first national advertising paper

In 1982 the Rheinische Post Mediengruppe purchases its first advertising paper in Germany. Today seven advertising paper publishers belong to the media group: The Panorama Anzeigenblatt GmbH in Düsseldorf, the Kurier Verlag GmbH in Neuss, the Niederrhein Verlag und Medienservice GmbH in Duisburg, the Wuppertaler Rundschau, the Wochen­spie­gel and Die Woch in the Saar­land and the advertising paper of our publishers in Trier and the Lau­sitz.

First holding in local radio stations

The media group becomes involved in local radio with holdings in the operating companies of stations such as Antenne Düsseldorf, Radio Neandertal and Radio 90.1 in Mönchengladbach. Today the media group is an active partner in 8 stations and has a holding in a total of 17 radio stations. Together they reach around 1.5 million listeners daily.

Move into the publishing house

The new 14-storey high-rise publishing house at the RP House in the Düsseldorf print centre on the A 52 between Düsseldorf and Mönchengladbach is completed. The old buildings in the city centre are demolished. Only the listed facade of the old press house on Martin-Luther-Platz is retained. The Schadow Arkaden shopping centre is built here, in which the media group Düsseldorf is located today with its local editorial office, advertising paper, radio, centerTV and the marketing teams.

Start of foreign involvement: Czech Republic

The years following the fall of the Iron Curtain provide a new impetus for the company. Since there are hardly any expansion possibilities in Germany for German newspaper publishers at the beginning of the 1990s, the media group chooses Eastern Europe as its main area of investment. Numerous newspaper publishers there need strong partners in order to be able to survive. The Rheinische Post Mediengruppe takes over the Mafra publishing group, to which two of the country’s most important newspapers – Mlada Fronta Dnes and Lidové Noviny – belong and, after taking shareholdings in further newspaper, radio and TV companies, expands it in the years that follow into a leading media company. The iDNES Internet portal becomes the largest news portal in the Czech Republic.

Involvement in the property business: Schadow Arkaden and Haus Edelweiss

The Rheinische Post Mediengruppe builds a shopping centre in the city centre: the Scha­dow Arka­den. It lets the business rooms with 12,500 sq. metres of office space, 15,700 sq. metres for retail outlets and 1,300 sq. metres for the catering trade. In addition the Düsseldorf local editorial office moves in there. Two years later the media group extends its involvement in the property business and opens the ‘Haus Edelweiss’ apartment complex in Oberstdorf.

Founding of the Rhei­nisch-Ber­gi­sche Ver­lags­ge­sell­schaft mbH

The Rhei­nisch-Ber­gi­sche Ver­lags­ge­sell­schaft mbH (RBVG) acts as the group’s new holding company.

The Rheinische Post goes online

The Rheinische Post is the first newspaper in North Rhine-Westphalia to go online. RP Online welcomes its readers to the website with the message: “Hello world, here we are!” The portal develops into one of the farthest-reaching news portals of German regional newspapers.

Holding in the Aachener Nach­rich­ten Ver­lags­ge­sell­schaft

The Aachener Nach­rich­ten Ver­lags­ge­sell­schaft GmbH & Co. KG (ANV) has belonged 100 per cent to the media group since 1996. The media group has a 30 percent holding in the Zeitungsverlag Aachen (ZVA) through the ANV. The ZVA publishes the Aachener Nachrichten and further newspapers in the city of Aachen and the surrounding area.

Award: Eco-Audit Certificate

The Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe becomes the first German media company to be awarded the Eco-Audit Certificate for its environmentally-conscious operation.

Holdings in Polish regional newspapers

In Poland the Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe takes a shareholding in the Express Bydgoski newspaper; this is followed one year later by Nowosci Toruń. The newspapers are the respective market leaders in the cities of Bydgoszcz and Toruń; the print shop is expanded to become the largest in North Poland. The activities are completed by news portals, advertising papers and an own subscription delivery network. 

Modernisation of the printing facilities

The publishing house bundles all national printing activities at the Düsseldorf printing centre. The Düsseldorf printing house and the print shops in the Czech Republic and in Poland are modernised and extended.

Start of holdings in Dutch advertising papers

The media group acquires shares in the Nederlandse Weekbladen Groep (NWG), which publishes advertising papers in the Brabant region. The media group has a 100 percent holding in the NWG as of 2009 and founds the AenC Media BV in a 50:50 joint venture with the Belgian Concentra Group. Today the latter publishes more than 60 titles with a total circulation of 1.9 million copies in Limburg, North Brabant and South Holland.

Co-operation: Making a newspaper at the newsdesk

As one of the first publishing houses in Germany to do so, the Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe introduces the newsdesk, at which the editors from the individual departments can jointly plan and arrange the newspaper. In direct proximity there is a second newsdesk, via which the print and online editors can directly exchange information.

Start of the local TV station

The Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe starts its involvement in the local TV market with center.tv in Düsseldorf. Later on it also takes a holding in the regional TV stations CityVision in Mönchengladbach and Studio 47 in Duisburg.

Internet advertising portal: kalaydo.​de

With kalaydo.​de an Internet portal goes online that combines the online advertising pages of the Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe and ten further newspapers. 

Involvement in the trade media sector

The Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe begins its involvement in the trade media sector and acquires shares in the DVV Media group. The Hamburg-based company publishes magazines on the subjects of transport and logistics.

Establishment of the IT service provider circ IT

circ IT starts in 2008 as a joint venture of the Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe and the Ver­lags­gruppe Georg von Holtz­brinck GmbH & Co. KG. It is one of the largest IT service providers for publishing houses in Germany and serves companies in the media industry in all questions of technology and administration from one source.

Partnership: takeover of the Neuss-Grevenbroicher Zeitung

The media group acquires all shares in the Neuss-Grevenbroicher Zeitung. A partnership that has grown over a period of 50 years is thus placed on a new footing.

Involvement in Slovakia

The company takes a holding in Petit Press, the second largest publishing house in Slovakia. It publishes the largest national quality newspaper, ‘SME’, two regional daily papers and various regional weekly papers. The two printing locations are situated in Bratislava and Kosice. Petit Press also occupies a leading position in Slovakia with its website smk.sk. 

New printing machines in Düsseldorf

The media group modernises its printing equipment once again. A printing house with state-of-the-art rotary plants is erected at a cost of 40 million Euros. Using a waterless technique the ‘Cortina’ provides for particular brilliance. It prints more than 40,000 newspaper copies per hour. Altogether 7.6 billion newspaper pages come together annually at the printing centre in Düsseldorf. In addition to the newspaper, other products such as magazines can be printed in high quality and in new formats.

Acquisition of the Wuppertaler Rundschau

In 2010 the media group acquires the advertising paper publisher of the Wuppertaler Rundschau and all shares in the Rhei­nisch-Ber­gi­sch print shop at the Wuppertal location. The publishing house also owns the radio station Radio Wuppertal; the media group additionally takes over logistics and administration. 

The newspaper for the iPad: RP Plus

The Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe brings out a digital Sunday newspaper as the seventh edition of the week. The editorial office prepares special contents for the iPad app ‘RP plus’: news and service texts, graphics, 360-degree photographs and picture series.

The new umbrella brand: the Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe

The umbrella brand ‘Rhei­ni­sche Post Medi­en­gruppe’ bundles companies and departments from the business divisions Print, Digital Media, Radio and TV, Logistics, Property and Market Research. The newspaper publisher has developed into a broadly diversified media group that publishes a large number of printed and online media, offers various services and has international involvements. The Rheinische Post Mediengruppe employs around 4700 people at home and abroad. 

Shares in ProServ-Medien GmbH

The Rheinische Post Mediengruppe acquired further 50% of the shares of ProServ-Medien Service GmbH (ProServ) from the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group. ProServ chiefly holds an interest in markt.gruppe, the leading online advertising network. Chief components of markt.gruppe’s portfolio include immowelt.de, one of the largest real estate portals in Germany, as well as the portals stellenanzeigen.de (employment market/job portal), motoso.de (motor vehicles) and markt.de (classifieds). 

Activities in Czech Republic sold

Rheinis­che Post Me­di­en­gruppe is sell­ing all of its ac­tiv­i­ties in the Czech Re­pub­lic. A con­tract on the sale of all shares in Mafra, a.s. as well as all Czech sub­sidiaries is signed with the Agro­fert group to­day. Agro­fert is the fourth largest Czech en­ter­prise. The deal is executed on October 10th 2013. Buy­er and sell­er have agreed not to dis­close any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the de­tails of this trans­ac­tion.

Daily App of the Rheinische Post

The media group starts a Dai­ly App of the Rheinis­che Post. It of­fers read­ers all the strengths of the news­pa­per while adding new mul­ti­me­dia el­e­ments. The con­tent is op­ti­mized for dis­play on the iPad and is avail­able af­ter 9:00 p.m. on the night be­fore pub­li­ca­tion. Read­ers can se­lect up to three lo­cal edi­tions with­in the app. In ad­di­tion to the six reg­u­lar edi­tions from Mon­day through Sat­ur­day, RP Plus, the award-win­ning dig­i­tal Sun­day mag­a­zine, is in­te­grat­ed in­to the Dai­ly App.

Ac­tiv­i­ties in the Netherlands, in Poland and Slovakia

Rheinis­che Post Me­di­en­gruppe is sell­ing all of its media ac­tiv­i­ties in the Netherlands, in Poland and Slovakia.

Increasing involvement with digital classified advertising

The Rheinische Post Mediengruppe is strengthening its involvement in digital classified advertising. The markt.gruppe is amongst others majority shareholder of the Immowelt AG.

Merger of Immowelt and Immonet

The two real estate portals unite and thus become no. 2 nationwide, significantly strengthening the Mediengruppe’s position in the real estate segment.

Translation business expansion

The Mediengruppe’s translation service provider, euroscript, expands its position considerably through various acquisitions and is also gaining a foothold in the USA. This is underscored by its rebranding: euroscript is now called Amplexor.

Expansion of activities in the segment Advertising Papers in Treves and the Lusatia

The media group strengthens its market position in its regional home markets by starting own activities in the advertising paper segment, true to the motto “local hero”.

DVV Media Group takes over Road Transport Media

DVV Me­dia Group GmbH ac­quires 100 percent of the shares in Road Trans­port Me­dia Ltd in Sut­ton, Lon­don. With its print, web, and event port­fo­lio, the company is a lead­ing provider of spe­cial­ist me­dia and ser­vices for the road freight trans­port and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle sec­tor in Great Britain.