Munich, Germany, 9 October 2013 – The German edition of The Huffington Post will go live tomorrow at www.huffingtonpost.de across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The launch will be accompanied by a media conference. Well-known TV journalist Cherno Jobatey will take up the post of Editorial Director immediately. The innovative news platform, which was set up in the United States in 2005, will begin work with a fifteen-strong team at its editorial offices in the German city of Munich. The German edition is the result of a close partnership between the Huffington Post Media Group and TOMORROW FOCUS AG.
Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, expressed her delight at the launch: “We are really pleased to welcome the German edition as a new member of the HuffPost family. As our partner, TOMORROW FOCUS has already made a tremendous contribution to the current and future shape of digital media in Germany. With Cherno Jobatey as Editorial Director, the new edition will report on the most interesting stories in this country and – just as importantly – help the people of Germany tell their own stories. They will take part in all kinds of conversations: from the effects of the eurozone crisis on individuals through to the way that people and organisations can redefine success and combat burn-out. We offer outstanding opportunities to expand and improve this dialogue by combining the experience and expertise of our partners with the strength of our HuffPost platform.”
Editorial Director Cherno Jobatey began his career as a freelance journalist for taz, Die Zeit and Der Spiegel. He became a well-known figure after presenting and putting his own stamp on the morning TV show of the German public television broadcaster ZDF for twenty years, and his popularity was boosted by occasional ventures into entertainment, presenting shows such as Leute heute, Cherno. Die RBB-Talkshow and a five-year spell with Verstehen Sie Spaß, a classic of Germany’s public broadcaster ARD? In a portrait series for ZDF entitled Unterwegs mit, Cherno Jobatey looks at the personal side of some of the country’s leading politicians.
For the last two years, he has produced and presented a highly innovative online feature called UdLDigital Talkshow, in which he interviews leading German politicians such as Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Ursula von der Leyen and Hans-Peter Friedrich, as well as bloggers, hackers and leading experts.
Cherno Jobatey is all set to make his mark at the Huffington Post straight away. He will contribute his own columns and help to build up a network of writers. “The media world has changed. The media economy has changed. We are on an exciting journey. I’m looking forward to contributing to the success of Huffington Post Germany,” he says. The editorial team will be headed by the future Editor-in-Chief Sebastian Matthes.
The newly launched German edition of the Huffington Post will cover six main areas: politics, business, news, entertainment, lifestyle and technology. In line with the US edition, the website will be laid out in three columns, with editorial content in the middle and right-hand columns, and a section entitled Featured Blog Posts on the left that will mainly contain articles by guest writers and experts. The Huffington Post is keen to invite all its readers to contribute their own material.
An impressive team of writers has been put together for the launch: CEOs such as René Obermann (Deutsche Telekom) and Kasper Rorsted (Henkel); Foodwatch founder and director Thilo Bode; former tennis star Boris Becker; Prof Wolfgang Hünnekens from the Institute of Electronic Business; criminal law expert Prof. Dr Heinz Schöch; the entrepreneur Franz M. Haniel; the investor Nicolas Berggruen; politicians such as Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), Dorothee Bär (CSU) and Jimmy Schulz (FDP); Deputy Senior Vice President Programming Marcus Ammon; actresses such as Miriam Pielhau, Jutta Speidel and Uschi Glas; Nikolaus Schneider (Chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany), and Robert Zollitsch (Chairman of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference). The list of guest writers also includes some of Germany’s best-known bloggers such as Johannes Lenz, Karsten Lohmeyer, Romy Mlinzk, Sascha Pallenberg and Thilo Specht.
Commenting on the launch, Christoph Schuh, Member of the Management Board at TOMORROW FOCUS AG, said: “We are delighted to act as a strategic partner for the unique Huffington Post business model in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This is an important milestone for TOMORROW FOCUS AG and reflects our new corporate strategy of focusing on content-driven end-user portals in our Advertising and Transactions segments. Over 200 of our 750-strong workforce now work in the advertising-financed publishing and marketing business, and we have plans for further acquisitions and expansion within Europe.”
Oliver Eckert, Managing Director at TOMORROW FOCUS Media (including FOCUS Online) and the German Huffington Post, outlined a series of ambitious growth targets: “Within five years we aim to be one of Germany’s top five news providers. We expect to return a profit after just two years. With over nine million readers per month, FOCUS Online will provide direct links to help us establish the brand and boost its reach figures. The German Huffington Post is based on a unique concept that will soon attract a large number of fans. It offers a new form of journalistic experience and makes it very easy for readers to add their own comments and make their own editorial contributions.”
About the German-language edition of the Huffington Post
The German-language edition of the Huffington Post was launched in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on 10 October 2013. The news portal also serves as a platform for views and blogs, and it hosts an online community. The site offers a mixture of exclusive content and guest articles covering politics, business, entertainment, lifestyle and technology. The German Huffington Post will be partnered by TOMORROW FOCUS AG, one of Germany’s leading exchange-listed Internet companies.
The fifteen-strong team at TOMORROW FOCUS Content & Services GmbH, the company that publishes the German-language Huffington Post, is based in the German city of Munich. The Managing Director is Oliver Eckert, who also holds the position of Managing Director at TOMORROW FOCUS Media GmbH (FOCUS Online, Finanzen100.de, NetMoms.de, etc.)
About The Huffington Post
Pulitzer Prize-winner The Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com) covers all the latest news, background reports and entertainment. It hosts an extremely active community of bloggers and contributors. The Huffington Post publishes over 1,600 items a day. In the United States of America it has a monthly total of 47.8 million unique visitors (comScore, May 2013), who write over 8 million comments every month. The site attracts over 30,000 bloggers – from politicians, students and celebrities through to academics, parents and industry specialists – all contributing views on the subjects that matter most to them. The list of famous guest authors includes Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Larry Page, Madonna and Robert Redford. There are now local editions of The Huffington Post in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, the USA and the Maghreb states of North Africa. At a global level, The Huffington Post can boast a total of 77.2 million unique visitors per month (comScore, May 2013).
AOL acquired The Huffington Post in February 2011 and appointed its founder Arianna Huffington to the post of President and Editor-in-Chief of the newly founded Huffington Post Media Group.