Axel Springer is the picture of an ambitious traditional newspaper publisher torn between the persistent (but declining) profits of print and the soaring potential of digital. Like its internationally-focused, family-controlled European peers – Schibsted from Norway and the UK’s Daily Mail group – the €4bn German public company is racing across digital media. And it’s also wrestling with the twin challenges of maintaining historic levels of profit and growth, and competing for high-priced digital acquisitions.
Springer CEO Doepfner: “New beginnings”
The dilemma was laid bare in its 2013 Annual Report. CEO Mathias Doepfner was euphoric about his company’s year of “transformation, transition and new beginnings. There has never been so much change! We have successfully started the future of digital journalism. In the next few years, we will need to keep the pace of our accelerated digitization in order to become the leading digital publisher.”
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