Press Release

Press Release | Gütersloh/Berlin, 12/02/2022

Bertelsmann Realigns ‘The Blue Sofa’ Author Forum

  • New structure: Bertelsmann will bear sole responsibility for the famous literature series from now on
  • New concept: “Das Blaue Sofa” will become more digital and more international

Gütersloh/Berlin, December 2, 2022 – Bertelsmann, the international media, services, and education company, will realign the successful literary format “Das Blaue Sofa” (The Blue Sofa) and bear sole responsibility for it from now on. The literary series will continue to offer renowned German-speaking authors a popular stage, but will be more digital and international in the future. The background to this is that the cooperation between Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and 3sat for the literature forum will be discontinued at the end of the year by mutual agreement. ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and 3sat intend to keep supporting literature with ideas and initiatives in the future. For Bertelsmann, continuing the author forum underscores its close ties to the creative community.

Karin Schlautmann, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications of Bertelsmann, says: “We see the realignment of the ‘Blue Sofa’ as an opportunity, because the entire cultural landscape is undergoing a transformation. In the literary business, dialog and networking, interaction with the audience, and internationality have taken on a new significance, and we want to reflect this development. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our longstanding partners ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and 3sat for our excellent collaboration to date.”

Over more than two decades, the “Blue Sofa” has developed into one of the most successful literary formats in the German-speaking world. To date, more than 3,100 authors have taken a seat on the sofa to present their latest books, including Nobel Prize laureates Svetlana Alexievich, Mikhail Gorbachev, Günter Grass, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Herta Müller, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Orhan Pamuk, Joseph Stiglitz, Olga Tokarczuk, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Mo Yan.

Bertelsmann has for many years been engaged in a variety of cultural initiatives both in Germany and internationally. The Group’s “Culture@Bertelsmann” activities comprise exhibitions, readings and concerts, the “Blue Sofa” literary format, as well as a commitment to preserving Europe’s cultural heritage.

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services, and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the entertainment group RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 145,000 employees and generated revenues of €18.7 billion in the 2021 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.