RTL Group has named Stephan Schmitter as CEO of RTL Deutschland.

Schmitter will retain his current role as Chief Content Officer when he becomes CEO on 1 January 2024, which will be a year since former CEO Stephan Schafer stepped down after just 12 months.

5. RTL Deutschland.Stephan Schmitter

Stephan Schmitter, RTL Deutschland

He takes over from RTL CEO Thomas Rabe, who was in interim charge following Schafer’s exit.

Schmitter will also take on responsibility for streaming service RTL+ and the reorganised publishing business Gruner + Jahr (G+J).

Schmitter joined RTL Group in May 2004 as Managing Director of the Berlin-based radio station 105’5 Spreeradio, rising to CEO of RTL Radio Deutschland. He was appointed Managing Director of the newly founded RTL News in February 2021 and took over in January 2022 as Chief Journalistic Content Officer at RTL Deutschland, before being appointed to the Management Board of RTL Deutschland in November 2022.

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Rabe said: “Stephan Schmitter lives and embodies RTL. He is an entrepreneur with an extraordinary flair for content and a collaborative management style. As Chief Content Officer and member of the Management Board, he has set the course for the future in a short amount of time. This year, RTL was the only main channel in Germany to increase its audience share in the key target group. Vox became the second most popular commercial channel, and our family of channels significantly expanded its market leadership. At the same time, we continued the growth trajectory of our streaming service RTL+, which currently has around 4.7 million subscribers.”

Schmitter said: “I am looking forward to taking on this new entrepreneurial challenge and would like to thank Thomas Rabe and RTL Group’s Executive Committee for their trust. I am convinced we have everything we need to continue shaping the transformation of our business, with great speed and from a position of strength. Our goal is to have leading brands in all genres that move and inspire our audiences in Germany, alongside outstanding colleagues full of creative power.”

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