How do you sell HR

Sell ​​it, Mr. Friedrich!

When Holger Friedrich a year ago Berlin newspaper took over, he was initially celebrated as a superstar: A businessman who has no clue about daily newspapers acquires the former flagship of the Cologne media company DuMont in the federal capital! A brave step that the industry initially cheered. Quickly, however, the public and workforce were brought back down to earth. Strange actions (messy editorials, unmarked reports on their own companies, questionable appearances) were followed by the revelation of the new owner's Stasi past World on sunday

Holger Friedrich should end his foray into the media world, thinks
Gregory Lipinski

This caused horror not only in the management floor. Many top executives turned their backs on the Printhaus on the Spree. First the editors-in-chief Jochen Arnzt and Elmer Jehn left the company, later the former gave up star-Editor-in-chief Michael Maier takes up his post as managing director. And now Friedrich is causing unrest again with new measures. They once again feed doubts as to whether the man with the distinctive full beard is really the right owner for the company.

There is, for example, his most recent decision to remove the capital city title from the IVW - a disaster, especially for the marketing of the paper. Because the neutral circulation count is an important yardstick for advertisers. It is used to determine the yield of the printed product. But if the management no longer puts the cards on the customers' table, an advertisement sale becomes a vabangue game. As a result, the company threatens to completely break away a key source of income.

But Friedrich's latest ambitions to ask the former Condé-Nast publisher Bernd Runge for advice and action weigh much more heavily. Because the Rostock native was, like Friedrich, a contributor to the Stasi. Regardless of whether Runge is an experienced magazine and publishing professional - the personnel does not advertise trust in the workforce in order to soften the resentment against the new publisher. On the contrary: it rekindles employees' distrust of their employer. That doesn't make it easier to build a highly motivated team.
He should therefore finally realize that he is not up to the task as a publisher and finally put an end to his excursion into the media world. It would be best for the paper.

Of course, selling the newspaper wasn't going to be easy. A sale to a competitor is likely to fail at the cartel office. However, if no buyer comes forward, a neutral foundation might be a good solution: Friedrich would no longer have the opportunity to interfere in the interests of the company. That would be a chance to steer it into a safer future. Otherwise there is a risk that another important journalistic voice will fall silent. The fact that Friedrich has just rejected sales inquiries, however, tends to move this scenario in the direction of wishful thinking.