…By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
After a remarkable run spanning over three centuries, the Vienna-based Wiener Zeitung has ceased its daily print edition.
Founded in 1703 as the Wiennerisches Diarium, the newspaper aimed to deliver news in a factual and straightforward manner.
On its final front page, the print edition acknowledged its 320-year history, encompassing significant political and social changes.
Decreased Revenue and Job Cuts
Despite being owned by the Austrian government while maintaining editorial independence, the Wiener Zeitung faced financial challenges due to a recent law change.
The law eliminated the requirement for companies to pay for publishing commercial registry updates in the print edition.
Consequently, the newspaper experienced a significant decline in revenue, resulting in the loss of 63 jobs and a reduction in the editorial staff by nearly two-thirds.
Transition to Online Operations
While the daily print edition has come to an end, the Wiener Zeitung will continue its operations in the digital realm.
The newspaper plans to offer a monthly print edition alongside its online presence, adapting to the changing media landscape and readers’ preferences.
Final Edition and Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger
The last print edition of Wiener Zeitung featured an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of Austria’s most renowned exports.
This final issue symbolized the newspaper’s rich history and its contribution to informing the Austrian public.
Significance for the Austrian Government
Wiener Zeitung served as a platform for the Austrian government to make legally-required announcements, including company registrations, laws, and executive orders.
Its long-standing role in fulfilling this function added to its historical significance within Austria.
Reaction from EU Commission Vice-President
Vera Jourova, the Vice-President of the European Commission, expressed her dissatisfaction with the situation surrounding the Wiener Zeitung.
She praised the newspaper’s informative role throughout the years and conveyed her concerns about its discontinuation.
The New Titleholder of the Oldest Daily Newspaper
With the end of Wiener Zeitung’s daily print edition, the title of the world’s oldest daily newspaper now passes to Hildesheim in Germany.
Hildesheim’s first edition was published on June 24, 1705, securing its place in history.