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Company history

It all started in 1959 in a tiny, rented attic office in the Vesterbro borough of Copenhagen. Now, more than 50 years later, Bonnier Publications has just celebrated 50 years as a publisher of specialist magazines in 21 countries on three continents.

The history of the company starts on 1 October 1959 when the magazine publisher Palle Fogtdal set out on his own in a rented attic office on Vestergade above the Gold Digger pub. He had no capital, so there was no reception with wine to celebrate the occasion. However, Palle Fogtdal did bring the football yearbook Fodbold-Jul and the car yearbook Bil-Revyen – both his inventions – with him from his previous position at another publishing house in Copenhagen.

After a couple of years, Fogtdal felt it was time to produce a ‘real’ magazine, and after consulting with his wife, Maria, he decided to realise an idea he had been talking about for some time – a magazine specifically aimed at the many families who, at the time, were becoming established in flats or houses. This marked the birth of one of the biggest success stories in the history of Danish magazine publications, the home interiors magazine Bo Bedre.

In the half century that has passed since then, the company has experienced many successes – and a few flops – under the leadership of three different directors: Palle Fogtdal (founder and CEO from 1959-1975), Erik Skipper Larsen (CEO from 1975-1997, responsible for e.g., the launch of Illustreret Videnskab) and the current CEO (since 1997), Michael Cordsen.

Bonnier Publications has especially seen significant growth in the years since 2000, with the development and launch of several new magazines, major book series and DVD series at the headquarters. Bonnier is also behind the licence-based publication of National Geographic as well as the takeover of the personal finance magazine Penge & Privatøkonomi, the free, home-delivered magazine Idényt and the Danish magazine publisher Benjamin Media. Finally, Bonnier owns 51 per cent of the Russian magazine publisher Vkusnaja Zhizn. Our ambition is continued growth both within and outside the Nordic region, which has hitherto been Bonnier Publications’ strongest business area.

Click the individual decades below for details on launch dates for new magazines, acquisitions and other milestones in the 50-year history of Bonnier Publications. The timeline features the publications primarily produced at the headquarters in the Østerbro borough of Copenhagen.

1960s

1961
• Launch of Bo Bedre

1963
• Launch of the women’s magazine EVA

1964
• Launch of the car magazine Teknik for alle – later relaunched as the men’s magazine Mandens verden

1967
• Launch of the car and boat magazine Bilen og Båden – later relaunched as Bilen, Motor og Sport

1970s

1970
• Launch of the ambitious weekly news magazine NB!, which runs for less than a year
1971
• Bonnier acquires 50% of the publishing house
• Launch of the boating magazine Bådnyt

1972
• Launch of the recipe collection Mad fra A til Z

1974
• Launch of the crafts magazine Alt om Håndarbejde

1975
• Launch of the DIY magazine Gør Det Selv in Denmark. Norwegian launch in 1976, Swedish launch in 1981 and Finnish launch in 1987 – magazine is now published in five countries

1977
• Launch of the hi-fi yearbook Hi-Fi-Revyen

1980s

1981
• .Launch of the coupon booklet Kupon-Nyhederne

1982
• Launch of the cooking encyclopaedia Det Store Danske Madleksikon – the first book series

1983
• Bonnier acquires full ownership of the publishing house

1984
• Illustreret Videnskab becomes the first publication ever to be launched simultaneously in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Launched in Finland two years later.

1986
• Launch of the science book series Videnskabens Verden

1987
• Launch of the fitness magazine I Form simultaneously in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Launched in Finland the following year.

1989
• Launch of the science magazine Lexicon – later relaunched as Facts & Fænomener.
• Bonnier Publications moves to its current headquarters on Strandboulevarden, Østerbro

1990s

1993
• Launch of the women’s magazine Damernes Verden

1995
• Launch of the science video series Videnskabens Verden as the first video series in Scandinavia

1996
• Launch of the computer magazine Komputer for alle in Denmark. Launched in Norway, Sweden and Finland the following year

1997
• Launch of Top Ten Games as the first CD-ROM series in Scandinavia

1998
• Acquisition of the magazine for Swedish homeowners Vi i Villa
• Launch of Men’s Health in Denmark, Norway and Sweden

2000 to today

2000
• Launch of National Geographic in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland

2001
• Acquisition of 50% of Benjamin Media

2002
• Acquisition of 60% of the magazine for Danish homeowners Idényt
• Takeover of the personal finance magazine Penge & Privatøkonomi

2003
• Launch of the photography magazine Digital Foto. Published in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland
• Every magazine in every country has a website
• Launch of Bo Bedre in Norway

2004
• Launch of the puzzle magazine Hjernetræner

2005
• Launch of the major DIY encyclopaedia GØR DET SELV LEKSIKON in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland
• Launch of the food magazine Spis Bedre in Denmark and Norway. Launched in Sweden the following year – taken over by Bonnier Tidsskrifter in 2007.
• Launch of the women’s magazine Tara in Norway
• Launch of the history magazine Historie in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Launched in Finland in 2007, Latvia in 2008 and the Netherlands in 2009

2006
• Launch of the two first DVD series produced by Bonnier, Håndværkerskolen (DIY) and Træn hjemme med I Form (workout), in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland

2007
• Launch of the women’s magazine Olivia – the first magazine launched locally in Finland
• Launch of the home interiors magazine BoligPluss – the first magazine launched locally in Norway
• Launch of Science Illustrated in the USA

2008
• Launch of the men’s magazine Aktiv Træning in Denmark. Launched in Norway and Sweden in 2009
• Launch of the women’s magazine Sund Nu in Denmark
• Launch of Bo Bedre in Finland under the name Divaani
• Launch of the popular science book series Videnskabens Univers simultaneously in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland

2009
• Full takeover of Benjamin Media
• Full takeover of Idényt
• Launch of the DVD series Haveskolen (gardening) and Træskolen (carpentry) in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland

2010
• Launch of Illustreret Videnskab in Russia under the name Science Illustrated
• Launch of home interiors magazine BoligPlus in Denmark
• Launch of Alt om Historie & Vitenskap in Norway. Launched in Denmark and Sweden the following year
• Launch of Populär Vetenskap in Sweden
• Illustreret Videnskab is published digitally

2011
• Launch of the book series Historiens Højdepunkter simultaneously in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland
• Bo Bedre, Penge & Privatøkonomi and the advertising sales department are transferred to Benjamin Media

2012
• Launch of the DVD series Egyptens gåder (Egypt) and Vores fantastiske univers (the universe) in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland
• Launch of Illustreret Videnskab's app Quiz Battle in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and The Netherlands
• Launch of the book series Dit Hus simultaneously in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland