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Chief content officer Stephan Schmitter named CEO at RTL Deutschland

RTL Group has picked veteran exec Stephan Schmitter to take over the leadership of RTL Deutschland as CEO from the beginning of next year.

Stephan Schmitter

In addition to his current role of chief content officer, Schmitter will take on responsibility for the streaming service RTL+, which currently has around 4.7 million subscribers, and the reorganised publishing business Gruner + Jahr (G+J) as CEO of RTL Deutschland.

Schmitter will take over the role from Matthias Dang, who has been serving as CEO of Cologne-based RTL Deutschland since a management reshuffle in August last year that also saw Stephan Schäfer exit the company having served as co-CEO alongside Dang since September 2021.

As of January 1, 2024, the management board of RTL Deutschland will feature Schmitter alongside: Matthias Dang as chief commercial, technology and data officer; Andreas Fischer, chief operating officer; and Ingrid Heisserer, chief financial officer and chief human resources officer.

Schmitter joined RTL Group in 2004 as MD of the Berlin-based radio station 105’5 Spreeradio. In 2018, he became CEO of RTL Radio Deutschland and in 2019, he additionally took on the role of head of audio at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, now RTL Deutschland.

In 2020, Schmitter additionally became one of the MDs of infoNetwork, before being appointed MD of the newly founded RTL News GmbH in February 2021. Following the combination of RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr in January 2022, Schmitter took over as chief journalistic content officer at RTL Deutschland, before being appointed to the management board of RTL Deutschland in November 2022.

As chief content officer, he has been responsible for all content, spanning entertainment, journalism, fiction, sport and productions from RTL Studios, and brands of RTL Deutschland.

Rabe, CEO of RTL Group and current chairman of the management board of RTL Deutschland, said: “Stephan Schmitter lives and embodies RTL. He is an entrepreneur with an extraordinary flair for content and a collaborative management style.

“Over the past 15 months, we have established a new management board at RTL Deutschland and, in a difficult market environment, we have invested massively in the transformation of our business – in first-class content, streaming, Stern+, Gruner + Jahr and advertising technology.”

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