German publisher Axel Springer plans to launch an international weekly edition of its flagship daily, Die Welt, in a 48-page tabloid format starting February 2010. Springer is still mulling distribution options but the paper will likely be available from airlines.
Die Welt is a conservative daily founded in 1946 by British occupying forces after the Second World War and acquired by Axel Springer in 1953. It has around 690,000 readers.
The thinking at Springer Verlag is that Die Welt could fill a void for non-German readers who are interested in news from continental Europe, while attracting lucrative new advertising customers.
That’s an interesting idea, considering the current dismal state of newspapers and remembering past attempts of others to attract English readers.
In April 2000, the F.A.Z. launched an English edition as a supplement in the International Herald Tribune - in what the New York Times called an opening up of “the first-class coverage of one of Germany’s best newspapers to the English speaking audience”. That project was a first in German publishing.