CH Media cuts two Sunday newspapers and staff

The Zentralschweiz am Sonntag and the Ostschweiz am Sonntag are the latest newspapers to disappear in Switzerland © Keystone / Alexandra Wey

Switzerland is losing two Sunday newspapers - the Zentralschweiz am Sonntag and the Ostschweiz am Sonntag – and ten affiliated jobs, it has been reported. 

This content was published on March 19, 2019
Keystone SDA/sb

In addition, the Saturday editions of the regional Luzerner Zeitung and St Galler Tagblatt newspapers will be merged into the Schweiz am Wochenende paper, which appears that day.

CH Media, a joint venture between the AZ Medien group and the regional newspapers of the NZZ group, said on Tuesday in a statementExternal link that it had taken the decisions due to a sharp decline in advertising revenue.

A social plan will be implemented for anyone losing their job, the company said. The changes will take effect at the beginning of July. 

Launched in December 2017, CH Media employs around 2,200 staff in various regional Swiss newspapers, online news platforms, radio and TV stations and magazines. The merger of the two media groups was cleared by the Competition’s Commission in August 2018, and joint operations started in October 2018. 

In November 2018, CH Media announced a cost-savings programme to reduce costs by 10% or CHF45 million ($45 million) over the coming two years which would affect all areas of the company; 200 jobs are expected to be cut.

Tuesday’s announcement is just the latest affecting the Swiss media landscape, which remains turbulent. In recent years, public and private organisations have come under pressure from all sides. This has intensified cost-cutting and cooperation measures, leading to a marked increase in private media concentration, downsizings, and job cuts. 

Local newspapers have faced particularly strong pressure, partly because of free newspapers and new online media. 

According to the Fög Quality of the Media yearbookExternal link, the number of regional newspapers in Switzerland fell from 36 to 28 between 2001 and 2016. 

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