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RTL Deutschland co-CEO exits as company shifts towards digital-first strategy

Thomas Rabe has been appointed chairman of RTL Deutschland's management board

Stephan Schäfer, co-CEO of RTL Deutschland, is to leave the company following a shake up of its management team.

The broadcaster will now be led by co-CEO Matthias Dang, CFO Alexander Glatz, newly-appointed COO Andreas Fischer and Oliver Radtke, who is responsible for co-ordinating the merger between RTL and Gruner + Jahr.

Thomas Rabe has been appointed chairman of RTL Deutschland’s management board.

Speaking about his departure, Schäfer said: “I would like to thank Thomas Rabe for the trust and our teams in Cologne and Hamburg for the support over the past few years, in which we have achieved a lot together for G+J, RTL and Bertelsmann.

“As one company, RTL Germany and Gruner + Jahr are in a good starting position to become a national media champion in Germany. I look forward to accompanying this path in an advisory capacity in the future.”

RTL’s parent company Bertelsmann is pushing to transform its traditional media companies into digital-first operations, starting with the merger between RTL, which owns some 15 TV channels, and Gruner + Jahr (G+J) which publishes premium magazines.

“We have defined clear priorities for the coming months: we will actively manage the business in an increasingly challenging environment and further strengthen the management team , further expand the RTL+ streaming service and complete the merger of RTL Germany and G+J,” said Rabe.