"Do right and you need fear no-one.“
Dr. Hans Kapfinger †, Founder
Dr. Hans Kapfinger, chief editor of the Straubinger Tagblatt, writes the leading article which determines his own future and that of Verlagsgruppe Passau: he says that Adolf Hitler's cabinet should be examined to see if their mental faculties are in order. For this, the Nazis throw him into jail and ban him from working in newspapers after his release. His promising career looks finished.
Dr. Hans Kapfinger is granted Licence No. 16 by the American Allies to produce the newspaper. In the eyes of the Allies, his resistance to the Nazis and his democratic principles make him an ideal candidate to build up the West German press. The first edition of Passauer Neue Presse appears on 5 February 1946 with a print-run of around 105,000.
Passauer Neue Presse is already being published in 15 different local editions with a daily print-run of 120,000.
Dr. Hans Kapfinger launches the "Stiftung der Passauer Neuen Presse". To this day, the foundation promotes journalist training and cultural projects, as well as helping the needy in the newspaper's circulation area and employees of the PNP who find themselves in financial distress through no fault of their own.
Dr. Hans Kapfinger dies at the age of 83. He leaves behind a publishing company which he has built up through his commitment to journalism and his far-sightedness as a publisher.
A new era begins for the group. Franz Xaver Hirtreiter becomes chairman of the board and starts the expansion into Eastern Europe in 1990.
Straight after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the group starts acquiring local weekly and regional daily newspapers in the Czech Republic. Through a number of mergers, acquisitions and new formations, these are united in the Vltava-Labe-Press (VLP) group, the largest publisher of regional daily newspapers in the Czech Republic. In 2015, the group ends its commitment and withdraws from the Czech Republic.
Verlagsgruppe Passau acquires the majority of the Landesverlag publishing house in Linz, Austria, and thus of the Oberösterreichische Rundschau, its most important publication. In 2006, these shares are sold.
The "Institute for the Training of Journalists" is established.
On the 29th of August, the new printing center in Passau-Sperrwies is inaugurated.
In the same year, Euro-Druckservice AG (EDS) is founded, bringing together the non-newspaper printing operations of Verlagsgruppe Passau in Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. In 2007, the group divests itself of these operations in order to concentrate on its core competencies in publishing.
Prompted by the suffering of children in the former Yugoslavia, the Christmas charity drive of the PNP is launched. Since then, every year the PNP collects reader donations between the beginning of Advent and the end of the year to be given to those in need worldwide as a part of specially chosen and administered projects. In total, donations of more than €21,000,000 have been collected since.
Verlagsgruppe Passau begins investing in Poland. Shares in nine Polish regional newspapers are taken over from the French Hersant Group.
On the 6th of May, Edmund Stoiber, Minister-President of Bavaria, inaugurates the new media center. After the relocation of the printing plant in 1992, now the editorial offices and all other departments of the PNP move from the city center to Passau-Sperrwies.
Publisher Angelika Diekmann initiates the event series "MENSCHEN in EUROPA", where every autumn outstanding events concerning politics, economics and the arts are held in Passau and an international prize is awarded.
Verlagsgruppe Passau invests in the Genoese newspaper publisher "Il Secolo XIX" and becomes the first German publisher to gain a foothold in a regional daily newspaper in Italy. Together with its Italian partners at "Il Secolo XIX", it plans and constructs a new, state-of-the-art newspaper printing plant in the Genoese suburb of San Biagio. The shares are sold on after three years.
Verlagsgruppe Passau starts investing in Slovakia. The first acquisition is the eastern Slovak daily newspaper Luc, followed soon after by other daily and weekly newspapers in Slovak and Hungarian throughout the country. A year later, these publications are merged in a joint venture with the SME group and a joint publishing company active throughout the country is set up for daily and weekly newspapers. In 2009, the group withdraws from Slovakia.
For the first time in its history, the group's activities are brought together in a holding company, Verlagsgruppe Passau GmbH.
Publisher DDr. Axel Diekmann takes over the management of Verlagsgruppe Passau and Passauer Neue Presse.
From April, Passauer Neue Presse with its local editions can be read as an e-paper on the internet. The PNP launches a comprehensive decentralization campaign in order to bring the regional editions closer to their readers and advertisers, and to open up new opportunities for quality improvement.
The newly built Passau printing plant starts operations. With the new building and equipment, the group is one of the most modern publishing houses in Europe as regards infrastructure and machine technology.
The newly built printing plant in Katowice, Poland, one of the most modern in Europe, takes up operations. The polish regional daily newspapers are consolidated under the single Brand "Polska".
DDr. Axel Diekmann transfers the management of the group to his daughter Simone Tucci-Diekmann and his son Alexander Diekmann. Law school graduate Simone Tucci-Diekmann takes over responsibility as publisher of the PNP in Germany and of the VLP in the Czech Republic. Business graduate Alexander Diekmann takes over publishing in Poland as well as responsibility for printing activities and technology throughout the group.
The PNP acquires the Trostberger Tagblatt, whereby the Trostberger Tagblatt, the Traunreuter Anzeiger and the weekly Altbayrische Heimatpost all appear under the roof of the Passau media group. The remaining shares of the Südostbayrische Rundschau, in which the group already had a 50% stake, and which obtains its transregional section from Trostberg, are also acquired.
By purchasing the Media Regionalne Group and consolidating the two publishing houses, Polska Press Group expands to become the largest publisher of daily newspapers in Poland, where it supplies almost all of the country with regional newspapers.
The polish publishing house Express Media, which publishes daily newspapers in Bydgoszcz and Torun among other locations and owns one of the highest-capacity printing plants in Poland, is purchased.
The PNP expands its position in Upper Bavaria by acquiring the Reichenhaller Tagblatt and the Freilassinger Anzeiger.