Blick Group and the media of
RASCH form Ringier Media Switzerland
Ringier AG has successfully completed the acquisition of all shares in Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG from Axel Springer. As part of this transaction, the former RASCH-Medien titles and the Blick Group will be united under the umbrella of Ringier Media Switzerland. The goal is to become Switzerland’s leading and most innovative media company with the broadest coverage, strong content, established brands and reach. Ladina Heimgartner takes over as CEO.
Ringier has acquired all shares in the Swiss joint venture Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz (RASCH) from Axel Springer. The RASCH media titles will be merged with the Blick Group to form Ringier Media Switzerland. The Competition Commission has now given the green light for the merger.
As announced, the current CEO of the Blick Group, Ladina Heimgartner, will take over the management of the newly created Ringier Media Switzerland division with around 1,000 employees. She will remain a member of the Group Executive Board of Ringier AG and will be responsible for “Media”, one of the three strategic pillars of the company: Media, Sports Media and Marketplaces.
The newly created business unit brings together four successful units under the umbrella of Ringier Media Switzerland:
- The Blick Group
- The 20 most widely circulated magazine and newspaper titles in Switzerland, including Beobachter, Handelszeitung, Bilanz, cash.ch, Tele, Schweizer Illustrierte, Landliebe, Glückspost, L’Illustré, PME and others
- The marketing organization Ringier Advertising
- The business unit Ringier Mediatech & Services
Ladina Heimgartner, CEO of Ringier Media Switzerland: “Our declared goal is to become the strongest and most innovative media company in Switzerland with our flagship brands, high reach and broad range of content.”
Ringier Media Switzerland already reaches an audience of 4.6 million users – more than half the Swiss population – with content for all ages and interests. On this basis, Ringier Media Switzerland’s marketing company, Ringier Advertising, will be able to offer advertisers even more attractive and effective products and services through new offerings and closer cooperation between Ringier Media Switzerland’s media brands.
New management at Ringier Media Switzerland
As part of the merger, the Management Board will also be reorganized. The current management of the Blick Group and Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG will be merged.
The newly formed management team of Ringier Media Switzerland will be headed by CEO Ladina Heimgartner. She will be supported by Patrick Rademacher as Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer. Max Buder will be Chief Commercial Officer. Roman Sigrist will be Chief Operating Officer and Sascha Hilpert Chief Financial Officer. As Chief Content Officer, Steffi Buchli will be responsible for all Ringier Media Switzerland content, while Sandro Inguscio will be in charge of target group-specific distribution as Chief Digital & Distribution Officer. Marco Rüegger is the Chief Product Officer. Thomas Passen remains Managing Director of Ringier Advertising.
The following members of the extended Executive Board of Ringier Media Switzerland have already been appointed: Michael Jaggi as Chief Technology Officer and Malta Fazzari in her role as Head HR Ringier Media Switzerland & HR Management Ringier AG. As part of the restructuring of the HR department, Christoph Haldi, until now Chief People Officer of Ringier AG, will leave the extended Ringier Group Executive Board and take on a new, as yet undetermined role for Ringier in 2024.
Roland Wahrenberger, long-time Managing Director of Beobachter and Head of User Market, Head of Consumer Magazines since 2022 and Member of the Management Board of Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland, will leave the company as part of the current reorganization.
Ladina Heimgartner: “As an experienced and long-standing Managing Director, Roland Wahrenberger has been shaping the strategy of the Beobachter Group for more than 15 years since 2006 and has prepared the title for a successful future. Since 2022, he has been responsible for general interest magazines and marketing. With his profound expertise and commitment, he also made a significant contribution to the positive development of Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland. On behalf of the Management Board, I would like to thank him for his many years of successful work, his extraordinary commitment and his professionalism, and wish him every success for the future.”
Ringier Media Switzerland: repositioning for growth and relevance
The integration of the various units under the new umbrella of Ringier Media Switzerland will entail further changes. A reduction of about 5% of total costs is planned. This will be tackled in the coming months in a structured process with the help of an external consultancy specialized in merging companies. The management of Ringier Media Switzerland will lead this process together with a team of 30 employees from all units.
The new organizational structure will strengthen the specialist areas (e.g. product, user market, marketing, etc.), foster cooperation and innovation, and thus promote long-term growth in the user and advertising market. It is a change to an organization that thinks holistically, with strong brands and independent editorial teams at its core.
Ladina Heimgartner: “We want strong editorial teams behind our flagship brands. And we want to support these editorial teams with all kinds of skills, from marketing to technology. I am convinced that we are well prepared for the many and complex challenges of the coming years with this organization and, above all, with the people behind it.”
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