Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner
Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka / dpa
According to a media report, Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner spoke again to the newspaper's staff after the revelations about ex-»Bild« editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt.
“From today's perspective, with everything we know today and what is beyond doubt today, we should have parted with Julian Reichelt six months ago.
He lied to us and we let ourselves be lied to, "he said in a video message to the industry portal" Medieninsider ".
According to the text of the speech published by the portal, Döpfner apologized to the staff.
He is therefore sorry for what has happened in the past few months.
"I deeply regret what you all have to experience - first and foremost and in a special form those who were directly affected by the misconduct of their former editor-in-chief."
Döpfner is quoted as saying that he was accusing himself of allowing Reichelt to lie to him. “We would have saved you and all of us a lot - suffering, humiliation, insecurity - but we were convinced that a distinction must be made between rumors that should be ignored, between clues that must be followed up and between evidence that is immediate Act. And we acted, albeit definitely inadequate from today's perspective. ”According to the report, he thanked everyone who contributed to the clarification with their information.
Döpfner is not only under pressure within the Springer Group.
The content of a private cell phone message, quoted from the New York Times a few days ago, caused displeasure among numerous media managers with Döpfner, who has also been President of the Federal Association of Digital Publishers and Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) since 2016.
According to the report, the 58-year-old had named the "Bild" editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt, who was killed this week, as the last and only journalist in the country who was still brave in revolting against the "new GDR authoritarian state".
Almost all other journalists have become "propaganda assistants".
Demands for resignation as head of the association
According to "Medieninsider", Döpfner also took a position on this. The portal quotes him with the words: “I also regret that in connection with this case a private conversation of mine via SMS is described as uncritical by a large number of German journalists - keyword propaganda assistants - or even the Federal Republic is compared with the GDR. "The statement was" of course "a" pure, sharpest irony. " He lives "by and for journalism". He announced that he would like to speak again on Monday about “the current cultural project” in a “large group”. The house must "get better faster".
In the media industry, the criticism of Döpfner's cell phone message was recently severe. Madsack managing director Thomas Düffert had announced that the statements were "for all journalists of the Madsack media group and certainly also beyond an inappropriate and failed disparagement". Even in private discussions, there should be no doubt about the integrity and independence of the editorial team. Among other things, the publishing director of the »Mindener Tageblatt« brought a resignation into play. "I think that someone who is the top representative of the daily newspapers in Germany is no longer tenable with such a statement," Carsten Lohmann told Deutschlandfunk.
Döpfner's apology to the workforce was made public almost at the same time as new SPIEGEL research on Springer-Verlag, according to which the house, while coming to terms with Julian Reichelt's behavior, put pressure on an affected woman and her lawyer to publish explosive details from the compliance procedure with regard to the ex "Bild" editor-in-chief. In the past few weeks, shortly before the reports appeared, the house had written a threatening letter to the woman's lawyer, and an additionally commissioned Hamburg law firm also increased the pressure.
Springer confirmed that he had contacted the lawyer for those affected.
He was told that "everyone else involved in the compliance process" had kept confidentiality.
The publisher justified the threat of criminal action with its "duty of care" - in order to protect "the integrity of the compliance process and the rights of all persons involved".
According to Springer, the 41-year-old Reichelt had to vacate his post because "even after the compliance procedure was completed in spring 2021, he did not clearly separate private and professional matters and told the Executive Board the untruth".