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Source: LZpB NRW

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NRW State Prize

Anneliese Brost

Winner of the 2004 NRW State Prize

The publisher and co-proprietor of the WAZ Media Group, Anneliese Brost (born 1921) is one of NRW's most important "media women", even though she is rarely in the public eye.

In addition to her role as a publishing entrepreneur, she actively sponsors a number of social and cultural projects in the spirit of public patronage. The beneficiaries of these activities include old people's homes, an orphanage and the Erich Brost Institute for Journalisim at the University of Dortmund.

The Folkwang Museum and the Zollverein heritage mine in Essen also enjoy her support, as does the Roberto Ciullis Theater on the Ruhr or the annual German Dance Prize. A staunch Social Democrat, Anneliese Brost believes that social commitment is only natural.

Back in 1948, Anneliese Brost, née Brinkmann, was a member of the team that founded the daily WAZ (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung), working at first as the secretary and "right hand woman" of the editor-in-chief and co-proprietor Erich Borst - initially in Bochum, later in Essen.

The success story of WAZ is closely interwoven with strategy formulated at an early stage by Erich Borst and his associate Jakob Funke, namely: Don't make one newspaper for the whole Ruhr area but lots of local editions to reflect issues and preferences on the ground.

Another important ingredient is the streamlining of company's organisation and the rationalisation of printing, sales and advertising procurement, while maintaining editorial diversity.

Today the WAZ Media Group publishes over 500 print titles and has holdings in various radio and television stations. In terms of turnover, WAZ is number three in Germany, after Bertelsmann and Springer, but is the most profitable of the publishing houses.

Anneliese married Erich Borst in 1975, and after his death in 1995 she took over his role. Erich Schumannm had already been taken on by the Borsts as managing director.

At the award ceremony, Prime Minister Peer Steinbrück spoke in praise of her qualities: "Anneliese Brost carefully weighs things up - looking beyond the mere short-term financial advantages. WAZ, whether in the form of the daily newspaper or as a publishing and media group, has done well by following a business policy guided by sound publishing values. A medium-sized firm, which Erich Borst often described as a family business, has become a well-situated large-scale enterprise run by well-situated entrepreneurs."

Wolfgang Hippe

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