"The Switzerland of today is a changed country in a changing world. [...] Our country is a fascinating place to be and ours is an exciting future to build. I would like to thank Swiss News for teeing the English speakers in on the Swiss story."
Micheline Calmy-Rey, former President of the Swiss Confederation on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Swiss News in 2007
One fine spring morning in the Zurich of 1982, publisher Remo Kuhn decided to take the plunge. What had started out as a simple idea would become reality. He would create an information platform for English-speakers in Switzerland, so that they could be reached by Swiss companies and Swiss news, and would thus become better integrated.
"Through my first wife, who is English and worked at the British Consulate General in Zurich, I became involved with the expat community. The majority of these expats were high-earners with fantastic apartments along Lake Zurich," Kuhn remembers. "They were highly educated, but I was shocked to find that they knew absolutely nothing about Switzerland." When during a party, his comment on the widely publicised 1982 overhaul of the national transport system (Fahr im Takt, Taktfahrplan) drew only blank faces, the entrepreneur had an ingenious idea. Together with business partner Peter Blattner, he decided to add a monthly English-language magazine to the publishing portfolio of their company Kuhn Annoncen AG.
And so Swiss News was born--or Swiss Life, as it was then called. Just as he was preparing his zero issue for distribution, a very proud Kuhn received an unexpected letter. Unbeknown to him, Swiss insurance company Schweizerische Rentenanstalt had just obtained the rights to the very name he had chosen for his new business venture. After much negotiation, the publisher averted the financial disaster of a reprint and was granted permission to launch Swiss Life (with a letter of explanation countersigned by both him and the insurance company). He renamed the publication first Swiss Scene and later Swiss News and, by the end of the first year, counted an impressive 1,500 subscriptions.
"The rest is history," he laughs mischievously. Today, with a readership of 68,000, Swiss News is Switzerland's longest-running monthly English-language publication. "It is the business card of our company," adds Kuhn proudly, "because of Its great reputation as a high-quality magazine." He recalls an episode last week, when during an interview for...