Headquarters of the RBB in Berlin: Schlesinger received 16 percent more salary – and more than 60,000 euros target bonus?
Photo: Carsten Koall / dpa
303,000 euros salary - and strong bonuses?
While the RBB board of directors is working on the termination of the contract after the dismissal of Patricia Schlesinger as director, reports about details about discreet bonus payments continue to cause difficulties for the ousted media manager and her four former directors.
According to "Business Insider" and research by RBB journalists, the broadcaster has a bonus system that is unique in ARD, through which the managers in particular are said to have received tens of thousands of euros each year.
Overall, it is about a six-digit bonus amount, which flows to the management in addition to the basic salaries.
The public prosecutor's office in Berlin is already investigating against Schlesinger, among other things, it is about the suspicion of infidelity and taking advantage.
There is also an independent investigation by a law firm.
Results of the investigation are not yet available.
In general, numerous well-paid lawyers are already involved in the processing.
The resigned director Schlesinger herself has so far rejected the allegations.
The reports about the bonuses should now be cause for further criticism.
According to the report by RBB journalists, since Schlesinger's resignation, the broadcaster had been saying that the management was not receiving any bonuses.
Nevertheless, according to the report, the RBB is said to have hired a consulting firm for a five-digit sum to establish a sophisticated bonus system – including for the top managers.
According to »Business Insider«, Schlesinger is said to have earned well over 300,000 euros a year before the 2021 salary increase – thanks to an expense allowance, a family allowance, non-cash benefits and a target bonus of more than 60,000 euros.
The accusation: The RBB leadership is concealing the true amount of the top salaries.
In fact, the RBB has kept the exact numbers under wraps so far.
In the Brandenburg state parliament, the current managing director Hagen Brandstätter said on Tuesday that there was no bonus system.
Rather, it is about non-tariff employment contracts - 27 of them are therefore variable remuneration including target agreements.
Cost savings in the program therefore also played a role.
An RBB spokesman said about the annual bonuses paid according to "Business Insider": "In view of the ongoing investigations by the Attorney General's Office, we are currently not providing any information on the details of Patricia Schlesinger's duties, which includes the question of variable salary components."
Head of the board of directors: Schlesinger's salary is not classified as critical
Meanwhile, the board of directors continues to work on the termination of Schlesinger's contract.
The acting head of the board of directors and state secretary in Brandenburg, Dorette König, said in the state parliament: "I can only tell you that we do not rule out termination without notice."
On Monday, the control committee had recalled RBB broadcasting council Schlesinger.
On Wednesday, the Broadcasting Council of West German Broadcasting (WDR) will meet for the first time since director Tom Buhrow took over the ARD chairmanship after Schlesinger's resignation.
Head of the board of directors Koenig said that she herself did not classify Schlesinger's salary of 303,000 euros as critical.
You can see things differently in hindsight.
She also pointed out that the last salary that Schlesinger's predecessor, Dagmar Reim, received was 280,000 euros.
Because of numerous allegations of felt and nepotism against Schlesinger and the resigned RBB chief controller Wolf-Dieter Wolf, the state parliament had again scheduled a special session.
In July, the 61-year-old declined the invitation.
There were no conclusive answers to many of the questions asked by the MPs.
Reference was made to the ongoing public prosecutor's investigations, which are directed not only against Schlesinger but also against her husband, ex-SPIEGEL journalist Gerhard Spörl.
In addition to the salary increase and the bonus system, the previously unsolved allegations relate, among other things, to questionable consulting contracts for an RBB construction project that has now been put on hold, but also to eating with "multipliers" at RBB's expense in her private apartment - and a luxurious company car with massage seats, for which there is said to have been a very high discount.
It is also about the question of whether the station boss and the station chief controller Wolf-Dieter Wolf have treated each other too laxly in the event of a possible collision of interests.
Both rejected the allegations.
Questionable orders for Schlesinger's husband Spörl at Messe Berlin are also being discussed, where Wolf was also head of the supervisory board until his resignation there.
The renovation of the executive floor with chic furniture for 1.4 million euros also caused resentment, and a three-day trip to London by Schlesinger and Spörl to a glamorous charity event and a commissioned production she was responsible for – for which her husband wrote the screenplay.