German Publisher Axel Springer Seeks Classified Profits

German giant Axel Springer fights to regain lost ad revenue
“I'm against the notion that print media should be subsidized. Media should be run as a successful business. And it can be.”—Mathias Döpfner Photograph by Michele Tantussi/Bloomberg

Mathias Döpfner may be the only chief executive of a major European company to have written a book on German New Wave bands and a treatise on eroticism in music. The former music critic might also be the only European CEO who’s confident he’s figured out how to save the newspaper business. Döpfner, 50, runs Axel Springer, a German publisher whose titles range from the proudly trashy tabloid Bild to Die Welt, a high-minded broadsheet originally intended to counter Nazism after World War II.

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