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Public broadcasting: ARD engages PR consultants


SWR director Kai Gniffke has been chairman of ARD since the beginning of the year. Now the broadcaster has hired external consultants to help him with communication. He doesn't say how much they cost.

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SWR director Kai Gniffke: "Yowling and squeaking"


Christoph Schmidt / dpa

In the first few months as ARD chairman, SWR director Kai Gniffke relied on the services of external communications consultants.

The agency fischerAppelt was commissioned, the mandate is limited until the end of March.

With fischerAppelt, SWR hired two old friends: Svenja Siegert and Birand Bingül work for the company, the latter as managing director of the fischerAppelt Advisors branch.

Both were ARD spokesmen from 2020, when WDR director Tom Buhrow was in charge, and switched to the private sector last year.

The SWR justifies the commitment with the "extensive reform process" in which the ARD is.

In addition, the presidency was assumed "significantly earlier than planned" and had to be prepared more quickly than planned.

No information about costs

Originally, Gniffke was not supposed to become ARD chairman until 2024, but had to step in a year earlier after Patricia Schlesinger resigned.

The former RBB director is being investigated on suspicion of infidelity and acceptance of benefits, she denies the allegations.

There was no advertisement for the consultant job, according to SWR it was not mandatory for this order amount.

However, six companies submitted an offer.

SWR does not reveal how much money the agency gets: "We can assure you that the offer from fischerAppelt was not the highest offer."

Most recently, statements by Gniffke caused a stir: If you start setting up a linear channel in 2023, those affected would "howl and squeak," said the SWR director in a SPIEGEL interview in December.

The trade union Ver.di called this choice of words "repulsive".

Gniffke equates ARD employees with dogs and pigs and dehumanizes them.

The director later showed remorse in his own blog: "Other terms would have been better."


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2023-01-27

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