Vienna’s historic newspaper, Wiener Zeitung, has published its final print edition after a remarkable run of 320 years. The decision to discontinue the print edition was primarily driven by the newspaper’s financial struggles resulting from declining revenues in recent years.
In a poignant tribute to its rich legacy, the newspaper’s front page on Friday bore the message, “116,840 days, 3,839 months, 320 years, 12 presidents, 10 Kaisers, 2 republics, 1 newspaper.”
This farewell edition aimed to encapsulate the extensive history and impact of the publication throughout the centuries.
The roots of Wiener Zeitung can be traced back to its founding on August 8, 1703, under the name “Wiennerisches Diarium.”
It was established with the aim of providing news in a direct and straightforward manner, distinguishing itself from other publications by avoiding the use of poetic language.
Over the years, Wiener Zeitung garnered immense respect for its comprehensive coverage of both domestic and international news, as well as its commitment to reporting on cultural and business developments.
It became a trusted source of information, serving as a vital platform for public discourse and the dissemination of knowledge.
However, the newspaper’s financial stability took a severe hit due to a recent legislative change.
The new law eliminated the requirement for companies to publish changes to the commercial registry in printed newspapers, which significantly impacted the revenue streams of traditional newspapers like Wiener Zeitung.
As a result, the publication faced mounting financial difficulties and was forced to make tough decisions.
To navigate these challenges, Wiener Zeitung was compelled to downsize its workforce, leading to the regrettable layoff of 63 employees. The editorial staff, which had been responsible for the newspaper’s high-quality content, was reduced to a mere 20 members.
These cost-cutting measures were implemented in an effort to sustain the newspaper’s operations amidst the adverse financial landscape.
The announcement of Wiener Zeitung’s discontinuation of its print edition sent shockwaves across social media platforms, with many expressing their sadness and nostalgia.
Twitter, in particular, served as a platform for individuals to share their heartfelt sentiments and memories associated with the esteemed publication.
Nostalgic Farewell to 320 Years of Journalism
One user on Twitter, who happened to be in Vienna on the final day of the print edition, expressed their desire to procure a copy as a memento.
“Damn. I’m in Vienna today, June 30th, I’m gonna find this, frame & preserve it,” the user wrote, capturing the sentiment shared by many who wished to hold onto a tangible piece of the newspaper’s rich history.
In an unexpected turn, another Twitter user directly appealed to renowned entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, in an attempt to seek a potential savior for the historic newspaper. The user asked, “@elonmusk can you buy the oldest newspaper?,” expressing hope that a visionary like Musk could intervene and revive the publication.
While the discontinuation of the print edition marked the end of an era for Wiener Zeitung, the newspaper’s management has indicated its commitment to embracing the digital landscape.
The publication intends to transition to an online format, ensuring that its journalistic tradition and dedication to delivering news in a straightforward manner continue to thrive.
The discontinuation of Wiener Zeitung’s print edition after 320 years will have a significant impact on various aspects of the media landscape in Vienna and beyond.
First and foremost, the closure of the print edition represents the end of an era for the oldest newspaper in Vienna. Wiener Zeitung has played a pivotal role in shaping public discourse and providing a platform for news, culture, and business updates for more than three centuries.
The final chapter of Wiener Zeitung’s print edition has left a void in the Viennese media landscape, as well as in the hearts of its readers and followers.
The newspaper’s legacy as a trusted source of information, cultural insights, and business updates will forever remain in the annals of journalism history.