Hurly-Berl(in)y for Montgomery

25 February 2008

BERLIN: Staff at the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, owned by David Montgomery's (pictured) Mecom Group, have written to their proprietor in protest at possible job losses.

Driven by rumours of a 20% cut in staff, as well as the recent departure of several leading journalists, the letter to Montgomery urges him "rethink his current business policy".

It adds: "If Mecom is unable to come up with such a strategy, in the interests of the paper and its readers a new, appropriate proprietor should be sought."

The journalists are also calling for the removal of editor-in-chief Josef Depenbrock, who is also the paper's managing editor.

Staff believe his dual roles betray the principle of separating commercial and editorial activities.

In a letter to him they say: "You are either unwilling, or unable, to adequately control the editorial department ... Mr Depenbrock, we have lost faith in you. Stand down."

It is thought Montgomery - a controversial former ceo of Britain's Trinity Mirror Group - may visit Berlin this week in an effort to ease tensions.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff