Heute & Krone fasten family ties
After the death of 50% Kronen Zeitung owner Hans Dichand (at the age of 89, 16 June 2010) his son Christoph is taking over as publisher of the best read paper in Austria. German publisher WAZ – owning the other 50% – reluctantly agreed.
WAZ and Dichand have been quarreling over the paper since decades. A planned sale of the WAZ shares to Dichand did not succeed – the new publisher will probably make a new bid in the near future.
One of the disputed areas between the Dichand family and WAZ was publishing a free daily. In 2001 they jointly launched U-Express in Vienna. After three years the paper was closed down, much against Dichand wishes. Within half a year an independent company launched free daily Heute. It was rumored that Dichand actually was behind the launch, also because his daughter-in-law Eva became publisher. (The Dichand family cannot participate in any other newspaper without the consent of WAZ.)
Eva Dichand is still publisher of Heute, and now her husband is publisher of Kronen Zeitung, which is leading to an even more closer relationship.