Kronen Zeitung

Last updated

Kronen Zeitung
Kronen Zeitung.svg
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Hans Dichand†,
Publisher Krone Multimedia GmbH & Co KG
EditorChristoph Dichand
Founded2 January 1900;122 years ago (1900-01-02)
Political alignment Populism
Right-wing populism
Headquarters Vienna
Circulation 828,000 (2013)

The Kronen Zeitung (German: [ˈkʁoːnən ˈtsaɪtʊŋ] ), commonly known as the Krone, is Austria's largest newspaper. It is known for being Eurosceptic.



The first issue of the Kronen Zeitung appeared on 2 January 1900. [1] Gustav Davis, a former army officer, was the founder. The name referred to the monthly purchase price of one crown (it did not refer to the monarchic crown), recently made possible after the abolition of bureaucratic duties on newspapers (Zeitungsstempelgebühr) on 31 December 1899.

The newspaper struggled in its first three years until the 10 June 1903 regicide of King Aleksandar Obrenović in the neighbouring Kingdom of Serbia, which the paper reported on extensively and made it achieve enormous popularity. The paper also became well known for its featured novels and other innovations, such as games for readers. By 1906 the newspaper had sold 100,000 copies. Franz Lehár composed a waltz for the newspaper for their 10,000th issue. After the Anschluß of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938, all media had to undergo the Gleichschaltung , which meant losing all editorial independence. The war took a further toll and on 31 August 1944 the paper had to shut down.

Rebirth of the Krone

In 1959, the journalist and previous editor-in-chief of the Kurier newspaper Hans Dichand bought the rights to the Krone name. He refounded the newspaper as the Neue Kronen Zeitung. This remains the official name, but the newspaper refers to itself as the Kronen Zeitung. First released on 11 April 1959, it soon became Austria's most influential tabloid newspaper, but also the most controversial. At the beginning of the 1960s the journalist Fritz Molden wanted to buy the paper, but, according to Dichand, the Creditanstalt bank would not give him the necessary credit.

The circumstances concerning the purchase of the Kronen by Dichand are shrouded in mystery. The highly influential Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) politician Franz Olah, then vice-president of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), brought Dichand into contact with the German businessman Ferdinand Karpik, who wanted to buy a share of 50%. Marketing strategist Kurt Falk became Dichand's right-hand man, and the Krone developed into one of the most widely read Austrian newspapers.

In the middle of the 1960s, the ÖGB suddenly raised ownership claims on the Krone. They claimed that the former vice-president Franz Olah misused the trade union's funds for the purchase of the newspaper, using the German investor as a stooge. The newspaper responded with a smear campaign against the SPÖ, which was considered the first successful campaign by the newspaper. A court case followed between the newspaper and the trade union federation which lasted many years. The ÖGB finally settled with an 11 million Schillings compensation deal, and Kurt Falk took over the 50% from Ferdinand Karpik.

Kurt Falk himself left the newspaper after a long fight with Dichand in the 1980s. He sold his shares to the German WAZ media group, which is said to have close connections to the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). In 1989 Hans Mahr, an advisor to Dichand since 1983, took over as manager.

Methods used by the newspaper

It became apparent soon after the re-establishment of the Krone that the newspaper used unorthodox methods against the competition.

The Krone today

Appearance, layout

The Krone appears daily, in colour, containing approximately 80 pages. The paper is published in tabloid format [4] (similar to A4 paper size). The editions vary from state to state, except for the state of Vorarlberg, which does not have its own version.

Structure and owners

The editor-in-chief was Christoph Dichand, son of the founder and publisher Hans Dichand. [5] His appointment led to a power struggle between the Dichand family and the WAZ, a German media group that holds 50% of Kronen Zeitung. [6] [7] The WAZ also partly owns Kurier , another daily. [6] [7] Hans Dichand owns the remaining 50% of the paper. [6]

Acting editor-in-chief chosen by the WAZ is Michael Kuhn, publisher of the Mediaprint newspaper printing company.

In 2018 the real estate and retail company Signa Holding bought company shares of the newspaper.



The Krone features the picture of a topless or semi-naked woman "Girl des Tages" or "Girl of the day", usually on page three, five or seven.

The power of the Krone

With about three million readers out of Austria's total population of approximately eight million, the Krone has nearly three times as many readers as its strongest competitor, the Kleine Zeitung (12.4% share of all readers).

Nevertheless, certain regional differences between eastern and western Austria exist which affect the newspaper. In eastern states (such as Burgenland) it has almost a 60% share of the market, but in western states such as the Tyrol and Vorarlberg the Krone has barely penetrated the market. While in Vorarlberg the Krone is totally insignificant, in Tyrol it has been able to make some gains. Local newspapers there, such as the Tiroler Tageszeitung , now fear for their positions. In response, the Tiroler Tageszeitung created its own tabloid in 2004, called Die Neue.


Kronen Zeitung was the seventh largest newspaper worldwide and the largest European newspaper with a circulation of 1,075,000 copies in the late 1980s. [9] It was the best-selling Austrian newspaper in 1993 with a circulation of 1.1 million copies. [10] In the period of 1995-96 the daily had a circulation of 1,075,000 copies. [11] Kronen Zeitung was the sixth best selling European newspaper with a circulation of 1,084,000 copies in 1999. [12]

In 2000 Kronen Zeitung was the seventh best-selling newspapers in Europe with a circulation of 1,052,000 copies. [13] In 2001 it was the fifth best selling European newspaper and the most read newspaper in Austria with a circulation of 1,035,000 copies. [14] The paper had a circulation of 1,018,000 copies in 2002, making it the best selling newspaper in the country. [15] In 2005 its circulation was 850,000 copies. [16] Its 2007 circulation was 961,000 copies. [17] Next year the circulation of Kronen Zeitung was 881,000 copies, making it the best-selling paper in Austria. [4] It had a circulation of 929,000 copies in 2010 [18] and 818,859 copies in 2011. [19] The 2012 circulation of the paper was 800,000 copies, reaching 40% of the Austrian readers. [20] Its circulation was 820,000 copies in 2013. [21]

Publishing house and marketing company Mediaprint

In the 1990s the Krone, together with the second-strongest newspaper Kurier , founded the publishing house and marketing company Mediaprint, which took over the print, marketing, and sales of the two newspapers. Many observers at that point already spoke of a monopoly. In 2000, the most successful Austrian magazine group, the NEWS media company, which owns the magazines NEWS, Profil , E-Media , Format and Trend , merged with Mediaprint. Since then the majority of printed media in Austria in effect comes from the same company.

Focused interference in Austrian politics

Kronen Zeitung was the supporter of Kurt Waldheim in the presidential election in 1986. [22] Many Austrian intellectuals hold the Kronen Zeitung responsible for the gains of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) in the 1999 elections, claiming its journalism is selective to an unacceptable degree.

However, until 2007 the effect of the Kronen Zeitung on Austrian politics, though regarded as extremely strong, had ultimately been indirect. In 2008 a new policy became apparent when the paper orchestrated a focused (and successful) campaign for the replacement of chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer as the head of the SPÖ by Werner Faymann, a decade-long close friend of Hans Dichand.

On 27 June 2008 while the change of the guard at the top of the SPÖ was still ongoing, the paper published an open letter by Faymann (co-signed by Gusenbauer) to Dichand [23] in which the politicians announced that the party would make Austrian acceptance of EU decisions in "important matters" (such as a rephrasing of the EU Treaty or the admission of Turkey as a new member) contingent on the outcome of an Austrian popular referendum on such matters. This amounted to a U-turn in socialist policy, and constituted an adoption of a long-term central demand of the Kronen-Zeitung. In the campaign for the snap elections of 28 September 2008 which were to a large part precipitated by this action, the Kronen-Zeitung openly and massively campaigned for Faymann as the next chancellor.

However, in the campaign for the June 2009 European parliament elections the Kronen-Zeitung threw its entire weight behind Hans-Peter Martin, a populist ex-member of the SPÖ's European parliamentary faction. Although it is impossible to quantify the exact contribution of the support of Kronen Zeitung for Hans-Peter Martin's List to the 17.9% of the Austrian votes it secured in these elections, this figure is an approximate indicator for the newspaper's political muscle. According to a post-vote poll by the agency Gfk Austria, [24] 70% of Hans-Peter Martin's List voters at that election were readers of the Kronen Zeitung, and 29% of all Kronen Zeitung readers actually voted for him.

It played a part in the Ibiza Affair, when it was reported that the Austria's former Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache has shown intention to take over the Krone and use it to spread message from FPÖ. [25]

Related Research Articles

<i>Bild</i> German tabloid published by Axel Springer AG

Bild is a German tabloid newspaper published by Axel Springer SE. The paper is published from Monday to Saturday; on Sundays, its sister paper Bild am Sonntag is published instead, which has a different style and its own editors. Bild is tabloid in style but broadsheet in size. It is the best-selling European newspaper and has the sixteenth-largest circulation worldwide. Bild has been described as "notorious for its mix of gossip, inflammatory language, and sensationalism" and as having a huge influence on German politicians. Its nearest English-language stylistic and journalistic equivalent is often considered to be the British national newspaper The Sun, the second-highest-selling European tabloid newspaper.

<i>Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung</i> German daily newspaper

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is a centre-right conservative-liberal and liberal-conservative German newspaper founded in 1949. It is published daily in Frankfurt. Its Sunday edition is the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alfred Gusenbauer</span> Austrian politician

Alfred Gusenbauer is an Austrian politician who until 2008 spent his entire professional life as an employee of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) or as a parliamentary representative. He headed the SPÖ from 2000 to 2008, and served as Chancellor of Austria from January 2007 to December 2008. Since then he has pursued a career as a consultant and lecturer, and as a member of supervisory boards of Austrian companies.

<i>Kleine Zeitung</i> Austrian daily newspaper

Kleine Zeitung is an Austrian newspaper based in Graz and Klagenfurt. As the largest regional newspaper in Austria, covering the federal states Styria and Carinthia with East Tyrol, the paper has around 800,000 readers.

<i>Nový čas</i>

Nový Čas is a tabloid and the best-selling daily in Slovakia.

<i>Kurier</i> Austrian daily newspaper

Kurier is a German-language daily newspaper based in Vienna, Austria.

<i>Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung</i> German newspaper

The Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) is a commercial newspaper from Essen, Germany, published by Funke Mediengruppe.

Hans Janitschek was an Austrian writer, a former Secretary General of the Socialist International, and the U.S. correspondent for the Austrian newspaper, the Kronen Zeitung.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Funke Mediengruppe</span> German media and newspaper company

Funke Mediengruppe (formerly WAZ-Mediengruppe) is Germany's third largest newspaper and magazine publisher with a total of over 500 publications in eight countries. WAZ-Mediengruppe is privately held by the Funke family and is headquartered in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Werner Faymann</span> Austrian politician

Werner Faymann is an Austrian former politician who was Chancellor of Austria and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) from 2008 to 2016. On 9 May 2016, he resigned from both positions amid widening criticism within his party.

Hans Dichand was an Austrian journalist, writer, and media businessman. He published the tabloid newspaper Kronen Zeitung, Austria's largest newspaper in terms of readership, in which at the time of his death he held a 50% stake. As the publisher and majority owner of this newspaper Dichand became a highly significant political power factor during recent decades. Although this influence is direct only in Austria, it indirectly affects the European Union through the behavior of the Austrian government, which cannot afford to ignore the Kronen Zeitung.

Sächsische Zeitung is a regional German daily newspaper. The paper is published in Dresden. Its circulation is around 227.940, a fall of around 40% since 1998. Around 93% of copies sold are delivered to subscribers. Despite the name, the paper is mainly distributed in east Saxony. The paper's circulation is around ten times that of its main competitor, the Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, which is part-owned by one of the owners of the Sächsische Zeitung itself. The company which owns the paper, Dresdner Druck- & Verlagshaus GmbH & Co. is itself majority owned by Gruner + Jahr. The remaining 40% is owned by Deutsche Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft, which is wholly owned by the Social Democratic Party of Germany. It is published in Rhenish format.

<i>Süddeutsche Zeitung</i> German newspaper published in Munich

The Süddeutsche Zeitung, published in Munich, Bavaria, is one of the largest daily newspapers in Germany. The tone of SZ is mainly described as centre-left, liberal, social-liberal, progressive-liberal, and social-democrat.

A legislative snap election for the National Council in Austria was held on 28 September 2008. The previous election was held on 1 October 2006. The election was caused by the withdrawal of Austrian People's Party leader Wilhelm Molterer from the governing grand coalition on 7 July 2008. Due to dissatisfaction with the grand coalition and the two main parties, it was widely expected to be a realigning election, with gains for the opposition and up to seven parties expected to be in the National Council after the election. The losses for the government parties resulted in strong gains for the far right, while neither the Liberal Forum nor the Citizens' Forum Austria gained as much as 2% of the vote, defying earlier expectations. The result of the election was seen as strong for the far-right and in support of Eurosceptics.

Täglich Alles was a German-language daily tabloid newspaper published in Vienna, Austria, between 1992 and 2000.

<i>Niederösterreichische Nachrichten</i> Austrian weekly newspaper

Niederösterreichische Nachrichten is a German language regional weekly newspaper published in St. Pölten, Lower Austria, Austria.

Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung is a regional daily newspaper published in Osnabrück, Germany.

Eva Dichand is an Austrian media manager, art collector, philanthropist and deputy chairwoman of the Albertina board of trustees, and managing director and publisher of the free daily newspaper Heute in Austria. Since 2012, she has owned the majority of the health portal Netdoktor, the largest medical online health portal, of which she is managing director.

Norman Schenz is an Austrian journalist and moderator. He was program director of the radio station Antenne Wien, founding member of the newspaper Österreich and is since 2011 leading society reporter of the Kronen Zeitung.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tassilo Wallentin</span>

Tassilo Wallentin is an Austrian author, columnist, and lawyer. He was an independent candidate for President of Austria in the 2022 election.


  1. "European News Resources". NYU Libraries. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  2. "Photoshop in Syria". Reddit. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  3. Richard Wolf. (9 October 2012). Austrian Newspaper Apologizes for Fake Syria Photo Imedia Ethics. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  4. 1 2 Lisa Müller (10 September 2014). Comparing Mass Media in Established Democracies: Patterns of Media Performance. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 224. ISBN   978-1-137-39138-4 . Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  5. Victor Flores (2013). "The Austrian Journalists' Report" (Report). Medienhaus Wien. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 "Media Markets: Austria Country Overview". Russian Telecom. August 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  7. 1 2 "Communications Report 2005" (Report). Rundfunk and Telekom Regulierungs GmbH. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  8. „Society-Berichterstattung im Wandel. Wer berichtete denn noch über Promis?“ (German: Society reporting in transition. Who reported on celebrities?) in: Wiener Zeitung, 28 June 2013.
  9. Franz Horner (1996). "Agencies of Socialization". In Volkmar Lauber (ed.). Contemporary Austrian Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. p. 223. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015.[ ISBN missing ]
  10. Eric Solsten, ed. (1994). Austria: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  11. Media Policy: Convergence, Concentration and Commerce. SAGE Publications. 24 September 1998. p. 10. ISBN   978-1-4462-6524-6 . Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  12. "Top 100 Dailies 1999". campaign. 24 November 2000. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  13. "Top 100 dailies 2000". campaign. 16 November 2001. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  14. Adam Smith (15 November 2002). "Europe's Top Papers". campaign. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  15. "World Press Trends 2003" (PDF). World Association of Newspapers. Paris. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  16. Georgios Terzis, ed. (2007). European Media Governance: National and Regional Dimensions. Intellect Books. p. 64. ISBN   978-1-84150-192-5.
  17. Anne Austin; et al. (2008). "Western Europe Market & MediaFact" (PDF). ZenithOptimedia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  18. "Western Europe Media Facts. 2011 Edition" (PDF). ZenithOptimedia. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  19. Paul C. Murschetz (25 January 2014). State Aid for Newspapers: Theories, Cases, Actions. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 134. ISBN   978-3-642-35691-9 . Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  20. "Austrian circulation rise because of free papers". Newspaper Innovation. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  21. "Austria 2013". WAN IFRA. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  22. Richard Mitten (1992). The Politics of the Antisemitic Prejudice. The Waldheim Phenomenon in Austria (PDF). Boulder: Westview Press. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  23. Volksabstimmung für neuen EU-Vertrag.Full text of the Faymann-Gusenbauer open letter
  24. Plasser F, Ulram PA. Analyse der Europawahl 2009. Gfk Austria. p. 36 PDF at Gfk Austria Archived 31 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  25. Al-Serori, Leila; Das Gupta, Oliver; Münch, Peter; Obermaier, Frederik; Obermayer, Bastian (18 May 2019). "Caught In The Trap". Süddeutsche Zeitung . Retrieved 19 May 2019. The supposed investor already had a plan: She proposed acquiring a 50-percent stake in the Kronen Zeitung, a highly influential Austrian tabloid, and to use the newspaper as a mouthpiece backing Strache and his FPÖ party in the election campaign.... A glance across the border is all you need to realize what he means, where the Hungarian public broadcasting system has already been the government's mouthpiece for several years. Even the privately held media there is largely under the control of people connected with Orbán. In such a situation, one doesn't have to worry much about unwanted criticism, and it's also easier to win elections. Freedom of the press? That's something that Strache also finds to be something of a nuisance...

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Kronen Zeitung at Wikimedia Commons