Publishers: Springer Falls Back

For months, left-wing students have been staging riotous demonstrations against the newspapers of Germany's No. 1 press entrepreneur, Axel Springer. In his pugnacious newsmagazine Der Spiegel, Rudolf Augstein has called for a "lex Springer" to cut the publisher down to size. And a government commission recently warned that a publisher as big as Springer controlled too much of Germany's press for democratic comfort.

Sensitive to the outcry, Springer last week went part way toward satisfying his critics. In a surprise move, he sold five of his magazines. Das Neue Blatt, a gossip weekly with a circulation of 1,140,000, was bought...

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