New leadership team for RTL Deutschland

12.01.2022, Germany, RTL Deutschland

Following the combination of RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr to create a national cross-media champion, the Co-CEOs of RTL Deutschland announce the new leadership team, which will be effective in the second quarter of 2022.

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RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr (G+J) have been united since 1 January 2022 (as previously reported). The new leadership team has been announced, with Co-CEOs Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer appointing the future leaders of all areas of the newly formed company. The members of the new leadership team will report directly to the Management Board of RTL Deutschland, which includes Matthias Dang, Stephan Schäfer, Alexander Glatz, Oliver Radtke and until the end of April, Julia Reuter. Julia Reuter, Managing Director Strategy, Human Resources and Culture, will leave RTL Deutschland at her own request on 30 April (as reported today).

In the upcoming months, the Management Board and new leadership team – in consultation with the responsible Works Councils – will develop detailed structures for the new RTL Deutschland. The changeover to the new structure will take place step by step and is expected to start in the second quarter of 2022. Until then, all members of the new leadership team will continue to hold their current areas of responsibility.

The new structure is aligned with the core growth areas of RTL Deutschland and G+J: strengthening the content business, expanding streaming, intensifying independent journalism and creating new revenue potential through increased cross-media cooperation within the company.

The content business – TV, streaming and print/digital – will each receive a single leadership in the future.

Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer

Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer, Co-CEOs of RTL Deutschland, say: "We want to develop RTL+ into the largest digital entertainment offering in Germany, while expanding our market leadership in linear television and tapping new revenue potential with positive entertainment and independent journalism – all accelerated by the combination of RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr. For these strategic priorities, we have appointed a strong leadership team. Each and every one of them has demonstrated leadership and a high degree of creativity and drive over the past years. We are very much looking forward to working together. With this team, honest work and together with all colleagues, we are building the media house of the future – the leading entertainment company across all media genres."

Eva Messerschmidt and Henning Nieslony will be jointly responsible for the further expansion of RTL+. They will work closely together with Karin Immenroth, who is responsible for the Data division, and Christina Dohmann, who will be responsible for End Consumer Distribution. Both departments cover not only streaming but all media genres within the company. With 2.4 million paying subscribers, RTL+ is the leading German streaming service (as previously reported). In the second quarter of 2022, RTL+ will be expanded into the first all-inclusive subscription for all media offerings.

Henning Tewes will be responsible for the TV business. He will manage all TV channels, except NTV, and will continue to be responsible for the programme content of RTL+ as Co-Managing Director. He will also manage all content in the Entertainment division, the RTL Studios production unit and Programme Buying. Last year, the RTL family of channels achieved an audience share of 26.3 per cent among 14- to 59-year-olds, once again maintaining its overall market leadership position in commercial television.

In future, Bernd Hellermann will be responsible for the print and digital businesses.

All journalistic content, from video to digital, audio and print, as well as the news channel NTV, will be the responsibility of Stephan Schmitter in the future. The new RTL Deutschland is one of the leading journalistic providers in Germany, with high-quality print magazines, digital news offerings, news programmes and magazines, Germany’s largest food platform and a rapidly growing podcast offering, which will be integrated into RTL+ in the first half of 2022. RTL Radio Deutschland remains as a unit under the responsibility of Stephan Schmitter.

The combination of RTL Deutschland and G+J creates considerable growth potential through the close cooperation of all content areas across genres. The company expects total synergies of €100 million, most of which are growth-driven. In order to leverage this potential and to initiate and lead the cooperation, Mirijam Trunk will take over the management of the newly created area for cross-media projects and partnerships.

As new Managing Director of Ad Alliance, Frank Vogel will be responsible for the entire advertising sales business, together with Matthias Dang. With high reach, innovative advertising technologies and data-driven products, Germany's leading cross-media advertising sales house wants to focus even more on the interaction of content, tech and data – as well as the expansion of the growth market of addressable TV.

The Distribution and platform businesses will be the responsibility of Andre Prahl in the future. The licensing and merchandising businesses will be headed by Thorsten Braun, in addition to his function as Managing Director of Super RTL.

Frank Thomsen will be Head of Communications at RTL Deutschland. Julian Weiss is responsible for Marketing, while Claus Grewenig is in charge of Media Policy and Youth Protection.

Martin Hoberg is responsible for Strategy and Sustainability. Frank Penning is responsible for Corporate IT and Governance.

Jan Peter Lacher will continue to head the Transformation Office together with Bernd Hellermann.