NewsRBB crisis: Search for interim directors

RBB crisis: Search for interim directors

Created: 08/23/2022 01:08 am

Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg RBB
Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg is in a crisis. © Carsten Koall/dpa

The RBB crisis is now about finding an interim manager. In this way, the station should be better able to get out of the difficult times. Who could that be?

Berlin – In the crisis at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) around the director Patricia Schlesinger, who was fired without notice, control committee representatives are working on an interim solution at the top of the station. On Monday, the supervisory board of directors voted in favor of appointing an interim director to lead the public ARD broadcaster out of the crisis.

According to dpa information, there could be a meeting between RBB committee representatives and state representatives in Potsdam today, Tuesday, to talk about the further timetable. First, “Bild” reported on such a conversation. Brandenburg currently has the legal supervision of the RBB. The second control body, the Broadcasting Council, will meet on Thursday.

According to RBB information, administrative director Hagen Brandstätter, who is currently on sick leave, is currently running the business, who is also being criticized for dealing with the crisis surrounding allegations of nepotism against Schlesinger.

Schlesinger sees himself as a “scapegoat”

Schlesinger is dismissed without notice and receives no severance pay. The decision was made by a majority, according to the board of directors. One wants to protect the rights of the RBB against the 61-year-old in the interest of the contributors as best as possible. In addition, Schlesinger should not receive any pension entitlements from her RBB time. A week ago she had already been recalled by the Broadcasting Council – the second control body.

Schlesinger’s lawyer said: “I regret this decision, which is obviously politically motivated in order to have a scapegoat. This procedure is by no means covered by the facts.” It also said: “The investigations are far from over. I look forward to her result with confidence.”

Interim broadcaster boss in conversation

The board of directors also commented on the idea of an interim boss for the station. One is convinced that the structural analysis and repositioning can only succeed with external support, as König further said. They want to develop a timetable for this in the next few days. At the same time, the current RBB management was asked to continue to carry out its tasks to ensure stability.

Since the end of June, Schlesinger has been exposed to numerous allegations of felony and nepotism, mainly through reports from the online medium “Business Insider”. She has been ARD chairwoman since the beginning of the year and RBB director since 2016. She resigned from both positions.

Attorney General determined

At the center of the scandal is the recalled director and the resigned head of the RBB board of directors, Wolf-Dieter Wolf. Both rejected the allegations against them. Among other things, it is about controversial consulting contracts for an RBB construction project, about agreements between the two on salary and bonuses for Schlesinger. And for orders for her husband, the ex-“Spiegel” journalist Gerhard Spörl at Messe Berlin – where Wolf was also chief supervisor until recently.

The General Prosecutor’s Office in Berlin is investigating all three for breach of trust and acceptance of benefits. It is the presumption of innocence. An external investigation into a law firm is also underway. There are no results available yet.

The public debate also revolves around a lack of tact and morality. The allegations are also about details such as dinner in Schlesinger’s private apartment at RBB’s expense, travel, massage seats in an expensive company car and a green plant wall on the executive floor – all of this in a notoriously clammy station with the worst viewership among the third programs in the ARD.

The controversial bonus system for RBB executives, which only became known as a result of public and internal pressure, made many people mad. Schlesinger also received a substantial salary increase of 16 percent to 303,000 euros. dpa

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