Südostschweiz regroups

The Südostschweiz media association will be restructured at the start of next year. Four titles will leave, as Südostschweiz announced on Tuesday. Andrea Masüger, CEO Südostschweiz Medien, comments to Werbewoche.ch.

From 1 January 2014, the Südostschweiz media association will comprise the regional titles Südostschweiz Graubünden, Südostschweiz Glarus, Südostschweiz Gaster und See, March Anzeiger, Höfner Volksblatt and Sarganserländer. The titles Werdenberger & Obertoggenburger, Bote der Urschweiz, Liechtensteiner Vaterland and Rheintalische Volkszeitung will leave the association.

The Südostschweiz-Verbund has existed since 1997 and comprised the above-mentioned titles. Its term is limited until the end of 2013. The titles that are now part of the association have negotiated a new cooperation agreement as of 1 January 2014, which essentially relates to the joint editorial cover section produced in Chur and marketing by the advertising company Südostschweiz Publicitas. Publicitas will continue to act as an intermediary for the association. The outgoing publishers have decided to enter into a cooperation with the NZZ media group.

The future southeastern Switzerland area stretches from the southern valleys of Graubünden to the upper Lake Zurich and includes the cantons of Graubünden and Glarus, Sarganserland in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley, large parts of the St. Gallen Linth Plain and the Ausserschwyz region. This is an economically self-contained area on the important north-south axis along the A3 and A13 motorways, which will be very attractive to advertisers. The circulation of the association is 82'083 copies. The reach is around 160'000 readers. Interesting advertising offers for the new newspaper group are currently being prepared for the advertising industry.

Andrea Masüger, CEO Südostschweiz Medien, to which Werbewoche also belongs.

Werbewoche: Andrea Masüger, how did the current situation come about?
Andrea Masüger: That the Werdenberger & Obertoggenburger (WO) and the Rheintalische Volkszeitung (RVZ) will leave the Südostschweiz Medien Verbund - the WO belongs to the NZZ Group and the RVZ works closely with the Rheinthaler(also NZZ) - was clear to us at the latest when both joined the new Ostschweiz am Sonntag. When these titles joined the Südostschweiz group years ago, they were still independent.

Why is the Liechtensteiner Vaterland leaving?
I don't know the exact motives. We negotiated with them and made them what we thought was a good offer. Why they are now going to St. Gallen, I don't know.

Why is the Bote der Urschweiz leaving the association?
The Bote is not part of the NZZ. Hugo Triner, the publisher, has a certain proximity to Lucerne and it can be assumed that the competitive situation in Central Switzerland will change. It is obvious that something will happen with the Neue Schwyzer Zeitung, which is a head paper of the Luzerner Zeitung. This should lead to a market shakeout and Triner can profit from the new situation. (Editor's Addendum: Werbewoche.ch on the new situation of the messenger of Urschweiz)

What does the new situation mean for the print shop in Haag?
We have longer-term contracts with the printing plant in Haag. The individual partners who have been printing in Haag will remain there. Then we'll see what happens. The Bote der Urschweiz has its own printing plant anyway.

How do you see the new situation?
In terms of daily newspapers, we remain among the top ten in terms of circulation and readership. Certain overlaps in the St.Gallen Rhine Valley and Central Switzerland are eliminated, the area becomes more homogeneous and also more clearly defined for the advertising industry. This also corresponds to a wish of our advertisers. The new large circulation with 190,000 readers is also an interesting offer for the advertising industry. We are entering the new situation with optimism.

Interview: Pierre C. Meier


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