Markus Schaefer to Lead ZDF Studios


Markus Schaefer has been appointed president and CEO of ZDF Studios, effective July 1, succeeding Fred Burcksen, who is leaving the company at his own request after more than 26 years.

Schaefer’s industry experience includes management positions at All3Media Deutschland in Munich, having later served as CFO (2010) and CEO (2014). He is also deputy chairman of the board of the Allianz Deutscher Produzenten–Film und Fernsehen (Alliance of German Producers–Film and Television).

Schaefer, who holds a doctorate in physics, will work together with co-director Karoline Meichsner-Sertl.

Norbert Himmler, ZDF director-general, said: “In Markus Schaefer, we have an experienced media manager taking over the management of the ZDF Studios Group. With his knowledge of the industry and strategic skills, he will drive forward the digital development of the group. I would like to thank Fred Burcksen for his great services to ZDF Studios and his extraordinary commitment to the company. He is handing over a very well-positioned group of companies to his successor.”

“As an internationally active and established media powerhouse, ZDF Studios has an excellent reputation and a great deal of creative momentum,” said Schaefer. “In this context, continuity, collaboration and sustainable innovation are of central importance. I’m very much looking forward, with the entire team, to opening another chapter in the almost 30-year history of ZDF Studios.”

Burcksen commented: “I’ve been fortunate to be able to help develop and shape the ZDF Studios Group over a very long period, and from the start, it’s been a role that was as fascinating as it was challenging. Today I’m pleased to be leaving behind a successful organization and handing the baton on to a proven industry expert.”