German TV giant RTL Deutschland has named Stephan Schmitter as CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2024.
In addition to his current role of chief content officer, Schmitter will take on responsibility for streaming service RTL+ and the reorganized publishing business Gruner + Jahr (G+J) as CEO of RTL Deutschland.
As of Jan. 1 2024, the management board of RTL Deutschland will comprise Schmitter as CEO, Matthias Dang as chief commercial, technology and data officer, Andreas Fischer as COO and Ingrid Heisserer as CFO and chief human resources officer.
In 2022, Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer were appointed co-CEOs of RTL Deutschland. However, Schäfer exited the company less than a year later “on the best of terms.” A management reshuffle followed, with Thomas Rabe taking over as chair of the management board.
Last week, the RTL group’s third quarter results revealed a 6.9% drop in revenue from January to September, due in part to the “persistent weakness” of TV advertising markets. Earlier this week, rival ProSiebenSat.1 group’s revenues proved relatively stable.
Rabe said: “Stephan Schmitter lives and embodies RTL. He is an entrepreneur with an extraordinary flair for content and a collaborative management style. As chief content officer and member of the Management Board, he has set the course for the future in a short amount of time. This year, RTL was the only main channel in Germany to increase its audience share in the key target group. Vox became the second most popular commercial channel, and our family of channels significantly expanded its market leadership. At the same time, we continued the growth trajectory of our streaming service RTL+, which currently has around 4.7 million subscribers. I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with Stephan Schmitter and I wish him every success in his new role.”
Schmitter, who has been with the RTL group in various capacities since 2004, added: “I am convinced we have everything we need to continue shaping the transformation of our business, with great speed and from a position of strength. Our goal is to have leading brands in all genres that move and inspire our audiences in Germany, alongside outstanding colleagues full of creative power. And I believe we have the courage to take decisive action in an intensely competitive environment. Over the past few months, the management board has developed a clear strategy for this, which we will implement with all our strength and passion.”