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ARD boss Schlesinger apparently about to resign

2022-08-04T11:41:54.509Z

Lucrative contracts, expensive dinners and a luxury company car: the list of allegations against RBB director Patricia Schlesinger is long. Now she is apparently supposed to give up her post as ARD chairman.



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Director Patricia Schlesinger: company car with massage seats

Photo:

Hendrik Schmidt / picture alliance / dpa

ARD chairwoman Patricia Schlesinger is apparently about to resign.

The background to this are allegations of nepotism, which the director of Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) has been pursuing for weeks.

First, the industry magazine "Horizont" reported on the upcoming withdrawal.

The allegations concern, among other things, the chairman of the board of directors of the RBB, Wolf-Dieter Wolf.

In his role as chairman of the supervisory board of the state-owned Messe Berlin, he is said to have provided Schlesinger's husband and former SPIEGEL journalist Gerhard Spörl with consultancy contracts totaling 140,000 euros.

Wolf is currently on hiatus and denies the allegations.

External law firm investigated

Other allegations relate to regular dinners with catering service in Schlesinger's private apartment, which were billed via the fee-financed broadcaster - and a luxurious company car with massage seats worth around 145,000 euros, which RBB was allowed to lease with a price discount of 70 percent.

Research by the online medium "Business Insider" had brought new details of the affair to light for weeks - and the first consequences were already there.

The construction of a digital media house (DMH), during the planning of which there are also said to have been a number of questionable processes, is currently on hold.

In addition, RBB has commissioned an external law firm to investigate the allegations and set up a whistleblower office.

For her part, Schlesinger promised to deal transparently with the allegations.

Apparently that wasn't enough.

Appointment for director meeting urgently needed

According to "Horizont", those responsible for ARD are urgently looking for an appointment for a meeting at the end of this week or the beginning of next week, in which as many directors as possible should take part.

It is considered likely that Schlesinger will announce her resignation from the ARD presidency in this round.

It is currently unclear whether she wants to remain RBB boss, a statement announced for 1 p.m. was a long time coming on Thursday afternoon.

The fact that the other station bosses are pushing for an early replacement also has to do with political pressure.

At the beginning of September there will be hearings in the respective state parliaments in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, which are difficult to contest with an ailing ARD chairman.

The amendment to the State Media Treaty is to be signed by the end of October.

Schlesinger's term of office would actually last until the end of the year, with her re-election due in mid-September.

In the event of a resignation, Tom Buhrow, director of WDR and Schlesinger's predecessor in the ARD chairmanship, could temporarily take over the leadership role according to the ARD regulations.

From autumn it could be SWR director Kai Gniffke's turn, according to the plan he should not take up the office until 2024.

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Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-08-04

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