John Jahr Sr.
|Key people||Bernd Kundrun
|Subsidiaries||Brown Printing Company (100%)
Prisma Presse S.N.C. (100%)
NEWS Publishing Group (50%)
Originally founded on Aug 1, 1948 as the Henri Nannen publishing house, Gruner + Jahr was created in 1965 from a merger by acquisition, by publishers John Jahr Sr. and Gerd Bucerius joining the printing firm of Richard Gruner. In 1969, Richard Gruner retired, and thanks to the entrepreneurship of Reinhard Mohn, Bertelsmann acquired 25% of the ownership. Over the next fifteen years, the firm grew by expansion, acquisition (publishers Kindler & Schiermeier) and merger (Spiegel Verlag and Motor-Presse Verlag). By 1976, Bertelsmann owned a 74.9% stake, and the Hamburg publishing family Jahr owned 25.1 per cent, which balance has been maintained through 2007.
In 1978, Gruner + Jahr became the first German publishing house to expand into other European and International markets. Over the next twenty years publishing houses in France, the USA, and Spain were purchased, and a number of new magazines were started in Germany including Impulse, Schöner Essen, and Gala.
In 2005, Gruner + Jahr exited the U.S. magazine business, selling its women's magazine portfolio to the Meredith Corporation and its business magazine portfolio to Mansueto Ventures. In 2005-2006 Gruner + Jahr participated in the Du bist Deutschland marketing campaign.
Gruner + Jahr publishes approximately 285 magazines and newspapers in 22 countries, including Poland, Spain, Russia, France and the People's Republic China. Gruner + Jahr publications currently (2007) include:
Bernd Kundrun is Chairman of the Board, and also a member of the executive committee of Bertelsmann. Gruner + Jahr has more than 12,500 employees and had gross profits for 2005 of 2.62 billion euro, of which 57 per cent was from outside Germany.
In addition to direct publishing, Gruner + Jahr own interests in a number of other publishers and printers. They own 60% of Sächsische Zeitung, 56% of the NEWS Publishing Group, 50% of the Financial Times Deutschland, 37.45% of Prinovis, 25.5% of Spiegel Publishing, and 95% of Henri-Nannen-Schule, a journalist school in Germany.
Gruner + Jahr owns several publishers and printers outright (100%), including the fourth largest U.S. magazine printer, Brown Printing Company in Waseca, Minnesota, and the second largest magazine printer in France, the Prisma Presse S.N.C. in Paris.
Gruner + Jahr annually awards the Henri Nannen Prizes, in five news categories: best reportage, best investigative report, best documentary, best humor piece, and best photojournalism article. The prizes are awarded in May for the previous year.