In view of the current weather, the question of whether Sunday is still the favorite day for Germans to read newspapers is debatable. In any case, “Welt am Sonntag”, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” and also the “Tagesspiegel am Sonntag” compete for the readers’ favor at the kiosk on the day off. In terms of publishing, Axel Springer and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung came up with something special last year. They moved their publication schedule to Saturday, which has different implications for both newspapers and their readers/subscribers.

The most striking thing first: There are now “FAZ” and “FAS” next to each other at the kiosk on Saturday. Sure, the “FAS” still has its Sunday magazine appearance, the “FAZ” appears and is updated daily, but at first glance there are two sister newspapers that have been competing for the sale since mid-2021. “After the successful conversion in all delivery areas, we are very satisfied,” explains the Frankfurter Verlag.

Overall, the change in the day of publication of the “FAS” was very well received, and a number of positive effects were achieved. “The conversion has increased the distribution area, so that we were able to increase household coverage to almost 90 percent.” Customers who previously received the “FAS” in the mail on Mondays are now delivered on Saturdays. “In addition, we can record considerable cost savings in delivery as a result of the changeover.”

The termination rate is in the lower third of the expected range, according to concrete effects. Nothing has changed in terms of the scope and quality of the “FAS”. “Readers will find the usual variety of topics covered, throwing a glance at the interesting and important things of the week.”

Reports at short notice before the weekend and current sporting events that no longer appear in the paper are stored digitally: “Our readers can use the QR codes printed in the ‘FAS’ to follow the latest reports and messages directly and conveniently via smartphone or tablet.”

The “Welt am Sonntag” deals with the topicality differently. The newspaper has been printed twice since September 2021, once in the early edition for Saturday sales, then on Saturday afternoon, above all with current sports, such as Bundesliga reports.

Also on the first side, in the political field, something new flows in. Not so with the “FAS”. In the sports section, she brings a long, rested story to the star purchase of FC Bayern, Sadio Mané. There is no print update on Saturday.

After all, the newspaper has solved distribution problems by bringing it forward. According to newspaper researcher Horst Röper, the statements made by the Frankfurters in relation to distribution problems on Sunday are correct. “Of course, these were already known when the ‘FAS’ was founded.” For decades, these problems were also decisive for the dominant position of Springer am Sonntag, only Springer was able to overcome them due to the high circulation.

“I suspect that current sports reporting is or was important for a significant proportion of Sunday newspaper readers. Especially since without the coverage of the Bundesliga on Saturday, many readers will miss a lot. Too much to keep buying the paper?”

This assumption cannot be directly proven with numbers. The “FAS” is 209,155 copies sold (IV/2021). With the new publication date, the publisher speaks of “new subscribers and increasing unit sales at the kiosk”. The change, which – despite a different concept – new competition at the kiosk from the company itself, apparently did not harm the circulation figures of the “FAZ” on Saturday. After adjusting for various special effects, no significant effects can be seen from the conversion of the “FAS”, the publisher reports. However, the Sunday newspaper from Springer Verlag is far ahead.

In terms of overall sales, the “WamS” recorded an increase of 17.7 percent to 332,821 copies compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Reading day Sunday, since the updated sports reporting – compared to the “FAS” – seems to pay off. Suffering is the “world” on Saturday. They don’t even exist anymore.