The Austrian media landscape
The print-media landscape in Vienna is heavily influenced by the participation of German publishing groups, especially as regards nationwide large-circulation publications. At the same time there are influential provincial newspapers that are printed by regional Austrian publishing houses. The electronic media are dominated by the overwhelming market leader ORF, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. In the past few years, online media have established themselves in the media landscape and are still gaining importance.
ORF dominates the electronic media market
The Österreichischer Rundfunk ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation), a public corporation, is the clear market leader among the electronic media. The foundation stone for its current structure and organisation was laid by a broadcasting reform undertaken in 1967 as the result of a public referendum held three years earlier, in 1964. This was the first such referendum to be launched in the Second Republic and had, as its aim, the abolition of proportional party influence in the ORF so that the institution could ultimately become independent of party politics. The petition for a referendum was signed by 832,353 voters and culminated in a new Broadcasting Act in 1966. This, in its turn, formed the basis of the 1967 broadcasting reform. Thanks to this reform the ORF acquired complete autonomy regarding programme, personnel and finances. In October 2011, the ORF extended its channel range from ORF 1 and ORF 2 with ORF III, offering programmes for the culturally interested viewers, and ORF Sport+, covering mostly Austrian sporting events twenty-four-seven.
Local TV for Vienna
OKTO – Vienna’s citizen TV
Vienna’s citizen TV station OKTO went on air on the city’s cable network in 2005. More than a million viewers can receive the programme today (source: AGTT / GfK Teletest, 2nd half year 2010). Okto is available in all of Austria via cable and webstream.
At Okto, Vienna’s communities are free to choose their own topics and also produce the various programmes themselves. Meanwhile, its schedule includes more than 110 programmes produced in-house and by different communities offering a complementary public and commercial television and reaching more than 283,000 viewers per month.
Okto is a participatory station that aims at promoting diversity. Its programme is correspondingly international, with multilingual formats such as AVUSTURYA Günlügü and the magazine Afrika TV. In May 2011 Okto and the ORF’s regional studio in Vienna agreed on a co-production for the Turkish community. Since then, the programme Vienna today - Haber Magazin informs about weekly news in the Turkish and with subtitles. Okto is also trying to subtitle as many programmes as possible. Okto is financed by the City of Vienna.
wien.at-TV offers information from Vienna, special weekly focuses and information on events, service issues and entertainment. It is available online at www.wien.at/tv and on W24 via Vienna’s cable network daily from 14.30 to 19.30h).
Commercial TV stations in Austria
W24 is a cable TV channel trying to position itself as a full private TV programme and develop as a local player in Vienna. With the relaunch in 2012, these goals were seemingly reached. The morning programme starts at 6 a.m. with current affairs; broadcasts occur around the hour.
ATV and ATV2
ATV (then still ATVplus) was the first nationwide commercial TV station to go on air in Austria on 1 June 2003. The legal basis for such a venture in Austria had only been created in July 2001 by the long-awaited Private Television Act. Today ATV is among the leading commercial TV stations in Austria. In December 2011, the new channel ATV2 went on air. Its target audience are mainly the young.
Austria 9 went on air in December 2007. The name of the station points to Austria’s nine federal provinces. Austria 9 is largely owned by the German Burda publishing group.
The new station emerged from the local Vienna station Puls TV. It was taken over by the German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1 Austria in August 2008 and is now the group’s fourth station in Austria.
The station regards itself as a supra-regional quality TV station for the entire Alps/Danube/Adria area. In 2007 Dietrich Mateschitz and his Red Bull Mediahouse took over the local station Salzburg TV, which subsequently went on air as Servus TV on 1 October 2009. “The current programmes on commercial TV are an insult to anybody with a humanist education. I want to show that intelligent commercial TV is possible,” said the energy-drink producer about his motivation. In October 2010 Servus TV reached a market share of 0.5 percent, with figures continuing to rise.
For the ORF, the competition in the radio broadcasting sector is steadily on the rise. The public radio stations Österreich 1 (Ö1 - Austria 1), focusing on culture and classical music, the local radio stations from Radio Burgenland to Radio Vorarlberg, Ö3 (mainstream) and FM4 (alternative) compete with private ones such as KroneHit, Radio Arabella, 88.6, Antenne Wien, Energy 104.2 as well as Radio Stephansdom. Since 1998, the non-commrcial local radio orange 94.0 has been on air. Around 200 programmes in more than 15 languages are produced by volunteers of the privately financed station.
More than two-thirds of all Austrians regularly read newspapers and periodicals, that is around 5 million out of a population of slightly more than eight million. The tabloid Kronen Zeitung has been the market leader in Austria for decades. Second place is contested for by the Kurier, published in Vienna, and the Kleine Zeitung, which is published in Graz.
A high degree of independence is also maintained by the print media in other Austrian federal provinces. In Linz there is the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten. In Innsbruck the Tiroler Tageszeitung heads the pack, in Salzburg it is the Salzburger Nachrichten, and in the far west of Austria the Vorarlberger Nachrichten. Among the Vienna quality papers which appear daily throughout the country Der Standard is in the lead, followed by Die Presse.
Vienna’s, and Austria’s, oldest newspaper is the Wiener Zeitung, founded on 8 August 1703 as the Wiennerisches Diarium. The present name has been in use since 1 January 1780. This makes it the oldest daily newspaper in the world to be still appearing. Since 1810 the Wiener Zeitung has been the official gazette of Austria.
The Falter, Vienna’s local weekly paper
The Falter, Vienna’s local weekly paper, brought a breath of fresh air into the Austrian media world in 1977. Renowned for its in-depth, critical investigation, it reports on politics, media, culture and Viennese city life from a left-of-centre, liberal perspective. In spring 2005, a local edition for Styria has been launched. In the extensive calender, events from the border region of the neighbouring countries Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary are also listed.
Media survey indicates new trends
The 2011 media survey, indicates the current readership trends for Vienna: the free daily paper Heute is in first place and has also overtaken the market leader in the print sector, the Kronen Zeitung, in Vienna for the first time in 2012 (both papers are produced by the Dichand family). In terms of nationwide reach the Kronen Zeitung still remains in the lead, however. Further trends: compared to recent years, daily papers are facing a general decline in reach but quality papers have managed to remain stable. The Media-Analyse 2011 has also confirmed the ongoing trend towards regional and local media.
Heute overtakes Kleine Zeitung
The free paper Heute showed a strong presence in the nationwide survey from 2011, overtaking the Kleine Zeitung, which is traditionally the strongest regional daily in Austria. Headquartered in Graz, its ‘home territory’ are the federal provinces of Styria and Carinthia where it is the leading daily paper, reaching 48.8 percent in Styria and 52.4 percent in Carinthia. This puts it ahead of the Kronen Zeitung in both these provinces, though the Kronen Zeitung still is the nationwide market leader.
“wien-at” – the media of the City of Vienna
The Austrian federal capital Vienna also publishes a multitude of its own media. These media initiatives are supervised by PID, the City of Vienna Press and Information Service (Municipal Department 53). They all appear under the joint description “wien.at”. The main focus of attention is the website www.wien.at. It comprises about 130,000 pages and has 908,000 unique clients per month (as of August 2012). This makes it one of Austria’s largest internet portals. There is an English version (www.wien.gv.at/english) as well as a Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and in Turkish version. The portal was opened in May 1995. The site underwent an extensive relaunch in spring 2010.
The City of Vienna offers a broad spectrum of media services coordinated by PID. It ranges from its own long-established news agency, the “rathaus-korrespondenz” to numerous individual titles such as the free monthly magazine wien.at for all of Vienna’s 950,000 households to publications for municipal employees and on the issuing of official documents such as legal gazettes.
The wien.at magazines
“To provide information right when people need it,” is the aim of the free wien.at magazines of the City of Vienna. They are designed to accompany the Viennese through important parts of life.
* City & Life – the magazine for more fun and more future
* Forschen & Entdecken – the magazine for bright minds
* Kinder & Co – the pages around the first ten years of life
* Leben & Freude – for Viennese citizens in their prime
* Welt & Stadt – for newly arrived residents of Vienna
* Wohl & Befinden – the magazine for patients in municipal hospitals
The wien.at magazines are published on a quarterly basis. Readers can subscribe free of charge.
The “rk-rathaus-korrespondenz” is the largest Austrian press agency after the Austria Press Agency (APA). The “rk” can be traced back to 1861. Its predecessor was the “Correspondenz Gall”, named after its founder Josef Gall (1820-98).
The so-called “virtual office” on the wien.at web server of the Austrian capital has also been a great success. In addition to all sorts of information about Vienna it also provides more than 600 pages of help and assistance for dealings with official authorities as well as around 200 electronic services such as appointment reservations, the issuing of official documents, or “ePayment”. Even some dealings with authorities can be entirely handled online. In addition the City of Vienna operates about 30 databases on a wide variety of subjects.
Amongst other things, the PID itself writes press releases, designs internet pages, produces photos and organises media presentations. One of its main functions is to provide assistance to journalists from Austria and abroad. A separate service is available to foreign journalists.
In touch with Europe – wieninternational.at
International public relations work is an important factor for the City of Vienna. The Compress media house was entrusted with this task in eleven Central and Eastern European countries. Approximately 10,000 articles on Vienna could be published in various media in these countries in 2012. More detailed information on this subject can be found on www.compresspr.at. Since 2006 the weekly online magazine wieninternational.at was added to the many Compress projects: www.wieninternational.at.
Up-to-date stories relating to Vienna in an international context, seen primarily from the perspectives of culture, business, or politics are published every Thursday. Vienna’s eleven twin cities in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and developments in the European Union are further focal points.
This online medium is designed to complement the monthly print magazine Enjoy Vienna (circulation: 115,000) that is designed primarily as a product for incoming passengers at Vienna International Airport and is aso sent to subscribers around the world free of charge. Both products are published in German and English.