In the beginning there was a man, a handful of printing presses and a vision. Carl Bertelsmann founds today’s Mohn Media in 1835 – and lays the foundation for its development into Europe’s largest media group. Come on a journey through time with us.
On 1 July 1835, Carl Bertelsmann founded the C. Bertelsmann Verlag publishing house in Gütersloh. As early as 1824, he had already set up the first lithographic printing house in Westphalia. With these two companies, he laid the foundation for today’s Bertelsmann Group – and thus for Mohn Media, too.
After the death of Heinrich Bertelsmann (1827–1887), his son-in-law Johannes Mohn (1856–1930) took over responsibility for the company.
With Heinrich Mohn (1885–1955), the fourth generation takes over the family company.
1933 - 1944
From 1933 onwards, the publishing program increasingly features books with nationalistic, “völkisch” and even anti-semitic content, including the publisher’s self-produced “Feldpostreihen” (army postal service editions) from the start of the war in 1939. Bertelsmann thus becomes the largest supplier of books to the Wehrmacht. Production takes place at its own printing plant and through subcontractors in occupied Holland and in Eastern Europe. Following a court case concerning the illegal procurement of paper stocks and as part of the mobilization of the entire sector, the publisher is shut down in 1944.
A British bombing raid destroys large parts of the publishing house building and means that it has to be rebuilt. Industrial production starts the same year.
On 20 October, Reinhard Mohn (1921-2009), the son of Heinrich Mohn, becomes the fifth generation to take over the publishing house.
A brilliant idea: The Bertelsmann reading ring is founded during a period of strong growth in the book market.
A golden age at Mohn – demand exceeds supply.
Mohn develops from a company printer to a printer for European publishing houses.
The first multicolour offset rotary press is installed.
On 23 September, the company changed its name to Mohndruck Reinhard Mohn OHG.
Mohn has a 32-page rotary press for the first time.
The Action Print business comes into being.
Important visitor: German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt is a guest. Mohn Media is in the vanguard when it comes to a partnership with employees.
Mohndruck opens Europe’s largest book production line.
At the beginning of the year, the largest remodelling measure in the company’s history starts with parts of the production and distribution areas being moved into new halls.
To save primary energy and protect the environment, Mohndruck opens its own CHP unit.
The company is one of Europe’s first print shops to integrate CtP (computer-to-plate) exposure units into its production process. Now, the printing plates can be exposed directly in the plate exposure unit from the PC.
As part of the foundation of the service provider Arvato AG, to which the Mohndruck Group will henceforth belong, the company is renamed Mohn Media.
The subsidiary Probind in Marienfeld is inaugurated and the Bertelsmann direct sales and publishing divisions move to the Mohn Media Group.
2000 – 2001
Mohn Media continues to grow: four new high-capacity rotary presses are added to production.
In May, Mohn Media celebrates its 60th birthday. Vogel Druck becomes a 100-percent subsidiary of Mohn Media.
Reinhard Mohn dies on 3 October at the age of 88.
2010 – 2011
The brochure business becomes important to Mohn once again: the company reacts to the growth with two 80-page rotary presses.
Web offset reaches new dimensions. Now, up to 5.2 million DIN A4 pages can be printed per hour.
Mohn Media inaugurates its second 96-page printing press for roller offset printing.
In this year, Bertelsmann Printing Group was founded. Mohn Media also becomes a member of the largest printing group in Europe.
Mohn Media continues to expand its production and the third 96-page rotary press goes into operation. In the same year, the Mohn Media website is optimised as part of a relaunch.
In 2019, the international printing business consolidated in the Bertelsmann Printing Group (BPG) was restructured, and staff changes were made with the aim of a considerably more productive, more integrated, more data-driven and more innovative BPG where the Group's individual subsidiaries cooperated far more intensively. In the same year, Mohn Media added another 72pp Lithoman rotary printing press to its fleet of machinery in order to further expand its web offset capacities.
A highly automated sheetfed Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 ten colour perfector with coater went into operation in early 2020. Only shortly afterwards, the corona epidemic developed into a pandemic. Mohn Media also has to deal with this challenge on many levels.
Our story continues.