Germany’s ZDF Enterprises has promoted sales manager Ralf Rueckauer to become its head of sales.
Rueckauer takes on the post at German pubcaster ZDF’s commercial arm from VP of sales, merchandising Fred Burcksen, who has been covering the duties vacated by former incumbent Christian Massman.
Massman took over as co-CEO of ZDF Digital Mediaproduktion in May 2010 along with Thomas Sewing, former head of video clip sales division ZDF.archive. The latter passed away prematurely in May last year after a battle with cancer.
Rueckauer began the new job at the start of the year, reporting into Burcksen, and is now responsible for all full-length programming distribution. Director of ZDF.archive and short film service Contunico Rainer Hastrich remains in charge of footage and clips.
Rueckauer’s former duties for Eastern European territories will now transfer to sales manager Andrea Roskosch, a ZDFE source said. Meanwhile, Stefanie Fischer becomes his deputy and also takes on responsibilities for the Nordic territories. Official confirmation of the transfer of duties is expected soon.
“Ralf Rueckauer is a long-serving employee who knows the sales portfolio inside out. We are confident that with him at the helm of TV programme sales, we are going to be best placed to address the challenges and opportunities of the future,” said Burcksen.
The news comes as ZDFE faces a future without long-serving head of acquisitions Juergen Steimer, who announced he would retire after nearly three decades at the company at the beginning of this year.
The ZDFE source said his duties were being shared out among former colleagues while the search for a successor was ongoing.
Meanwhile, it’s the latest promotion for Rueckauer, who joined Mainz-based ZDFE in 2003 in an investment and distribution project manager role before being upped to sales manager for German-speaking territories and Central and Eastern Europe. Prior to ZDFE, he was head of ZDF’s format development unit Quantum.