RTL Deutschland Installs New Leadership


Matthias Dang and Stephan Schäfer have been appointed co-CEOs of RTL Deutschland, as Bernd Reichart exits RTL Group to take on new management responsibilities within the Bertelsmann Group.

Changes within the management team follow the decision to combine RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr (G+J) as of January 1, 2022.

Dang and Schäfer assume the co-CEO role as of today, September 1. Schäfer will continue to be responsible for RTL Deutschland’s content and brands, including the entire journalistic offering. He will also remain CEO of Gruner + Jahr. Dang will continue to lead all commercial, technological and digital activities of the company. He will also remain CEO of the German advertising sales house Ad Alliance.

Reichart had been serving as CEO of RTL Deutschland since January 2019.

Oliver Radtke, managing director of G+J, additionally becomes a member of the management board of RTL Deutschland. In this role, he will be responsible for the overall coordination of the combination of RTL Deutschland and G+J.

Julia Reuter, managing director of strategy, human resources and culture, and Alexander Glatz, managing director of legal and finance (CFO), will remain members of the management board of RTL Deutschland.

Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, said: “By combining RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr, we are creating Germany’s first cross-media champion and making a clear commitment toward long-term growth and greater investment in quality content, diversity and pluralism of opinion. For this important task, we have created a new leadership structure. With Stephan Schäfer and Matthias Dang, the company will be led by two co-CEOs who know and complement each other well, combining programming competence with journalistic and commercial expertise, strategic foresight and leadership strength. With the successful establishment and expansion of the Ad Alliance, they have demonstrated that the combination of RTL and G+J creates value for both sides and opens up new growth perspectives. I wish Matthias Dang, Stephan Schäfer and the whole management team every success in their future tasks and look forward to working with them.”

Rabe continued: “At the same time, I would like to thank Bernd Reichart. He has contributed significantly to the success of RTL Deutschland—first as managing director of Vox, then at the helm of RTL Deutschland. He has driven the company’s digital transformation—especially through the rapid growth in streaming—concluded strategic partnerships and made significant progress in the repositioning of the RTL brand.”

Schäfer and Dang said: “We look forward to our new role with both joy and respect. RTL Deutschland has set itself many goals, including the positioning of RTL as a leading entertainment brand that stands for independent journalism, attitude and inspiration. To achieve this, we want to expand our family of channels in Germany around RTL and Vox, alongside further accelerating the growth of our streaming service RTL+. From January onward, we will also have the opportunity and the mission to build Gruner + Jahr’s journalistic expertise and brands into something new—the first media company that is a leader in all genres, attractive to creatives and audiences alike. We are very much looking forward to working with all our great colleagues to achieve these goals.”

Reichart added: “After more than eight years at RTL Deutschland, I look back on the time with pride and gratitude. To be able to work both creatively and strategically with such an exceptional team during this exciting time is a special privilege. We have successfully accelerated the digital transformation of both our company and our offerings. I sincerely wish the new management team and all my colleagues success in their tasks ahead.”