News | RTL Group | Cologne/Hamburg, 01/12/2022

RTL Deutschland Appoints Management Team

The co-CEOs of RTL Deutschland, Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer, have appointed the future heads of all divisions of the new company, which was created on January 1. RTL Deutschland’s detailed structures will be developed in the months ahead. Implementation is scheduled to begin in the second quarter. Until then, the previous structures will apply.

RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr have been united since January 1, and now the new management team has been announced. Co-CEOs Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer have appointed the future leaders for all of the newly formed company’s divisions. They will report directly to the senior management, which besides the CEOs includes Alexander Glatz, Oliver Radtke and Julia Reuter. In the months ahead, the management and the leadership team – in consultation with the relevant works councils – will develop the detailed structures of RTL Deutschland with Gruner + Jahr. The transition to the new organization will take place gradually and is scheduled to begin in the second quarter. Until then, all members of the newly appointed leadership team will retain their current areas of responsibility.

The new structure reflects the core growth areas of RTL Deutschland with G+J: strengthening the content business, expanding streaming, intensifying independent journalism, and creating new revenue potential through increased cross-media collaboration within the company. The content businesses - TV, streaming and print/digital - will each get a unified management in the future. “We want to develop RTL+ into the largest digital entertainment offering, expand our market leadership in linear television, and tap new revenue potential with positive entertainment and independent journalism - expedited by the merger of RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr,” the two co-CEOs Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer are quoted as saying in a joint statement. “Based on these strategic priorities, we have appointed a strong team of leaders. Each and every one of them has demonstrated leadership and a high degree of creativity and creative drive in recent years. We are very much looking forward to working together. With this leadership team, honest work, and together with all colleagues, we will build the media company of the future - the leading entertainment company across all media genres.” 

Eva Messerschmidt and Henning Nieslony will be jointly and equally responsible for the further expansion of RTL+. They will work closely with Karin Immenroth, who heads the Data division, and Christina Dohmann, who will be responsible for end-customer sales; both divisions also work, beyond streaming, for all media genres in the company. With 2.4 million subscribers, RTL+ is the leading German streaming service. In the second quarter, RTL+ will be expanded into the first comprehensive media subscription service across all genres. 

Henning Tewes will be responsible for the TV business. He will manage the TV business of all channels except NTV, and will continue to oversee RTL+’s program content as co-Managing Director. He will also manage all entertainment content, the RTL Studios production unit, and program purchasing. Last year, the RTL family of channels achieved an audience market share of 26.3 percent among 14- to 59-year-olds, once again maintaining its overall market leadership in commercial TV. 

Bernd Hellermann will be responsible for the print and digital businesses going forward. 

All journalistic content, from video to digital and audio, to print, as well as the news channel NTV, will be overseen by Stephan Schmitter in the future. RTL Deutschland with Gruner + Jahr is one of the country’s leading providers of journalistic content. Its print magazines are quality and market leaders in numerous segments from women’s to living to business and news., and are among Germany’s highest-reach digital news sites. RTL’s news programs and magazine shows are among the most-watched information programs on German television. In Chefkoch, the company owns Germany’s biggest food platform. The company’s fast-growing podcast offering, which already includes more than 200 originals, will be integrated into the expanded entertainment offering RTL+ in the first half of the year. The RTL Radio business unit will continue to be managed by Stephan Schmitter.  

The merger of RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr creates significant growth potential through close cooperation between all the content departments and across all genres. The company anticipates total synergies of €100 million, most of them growth-driven. To exploit this potential and manage and initiate the collaboration, Mirijam Trunk is taking the helm of the newly created department for cross-media projects and partnerships.  As the new Managing Director of Ad Alliance, Frank Vogel will jointly oversee the entire marketing business with Matthias Dang. With its high reach, innovative advertising technologies and data-driven products, Germany’s leading cross-media marketer intends to focus even more on the interplay of content, tech and data, and on expanding the growth market of addressable TV. 

Distribution and the platform business 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 role as Managing Director of Super RTL. 
Frank Thomsen will serve as RTL Deutschland’s Head of Communications. Julian Weiss will oversee marketing, while Claus Grewenig will be in charge of media policy and the protection of minors. 

Martin Hoberg will be responsible for Strategy and Sustainability. Frank Penning will oversee Corporate IT and Governance. 

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