BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – As a co-partner, the Left Party wants to examine a change in the ownership structure of the daily newspaper “Neues Deutschland” (ND). The Federal Treasurer of the Left, Harald Wolf, told the German Press Agency on Friday: “We are considering changing the ownership structure.” The left-wing politician also emphasized: “We are at the beginning of a process, there is still no result.” One option is to convert the ND into a “new corporate form and to found a cooperative.”
The Left Party has a stake in the Berlin-based daily newspaper through Föderative Verlags-, Consulting- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH (Fevac) and a current circulation of 18,491 copies sold (IVW, fourth quarter of 2020). Fevac holds 50 percent of the newspaper. The paper first appeared after the Second World War in 1946 and was a newspaper of the SED state party in the GDR.
The managing director of Neues Deutschland Druckerei und Verlag GmbH, Matthias Schindler, confirmed the initiated process on dpa request. With regard to the option of a cooperative, he said: “I see this as a necessary step – towards a modern, sustainable, left-wing daily newspaper in an adequate legal form.” Schindler is also a board member of Communio Beteiligungsgenossenschaft eG, which is the daily newspaper’s second shareholder with 50 percent.
As a reason for the considerations, Linken-Bundesschatzmeister Wolf cited the declining subscriber numbers in recent years and the need for a new conception and repositioning, also against the background of digitalization. In this context, one must also discuss whether a party as a shareholder would be an obstacle if the newspaper, with all its editorial independence, was viewed by many as a party newspaper.
Ideas for a possible change in the shareholder structure would now have to be discussed with the workforce and in the party board. This discussion is still pending. Only then will a decision be made.
The Verdi union complained about a “lack of communication” on the part of the Left Party to the employee representatives for around 100 employees. The message also said: “Even if there was an earlier wish in the workforce to change the structures of the ND and a cooperative is sometimes seen as an opportunity to strengthen the editorial independence of the newspaper: The cooperative must not be cheap Solution “be.” The new company structure to be founded must be able to support itself, and the way there must be solidarity, social and cooperative./rin/DP/nas