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RTL reveals new management structure

European media giant RTL Group has appointed a new chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO) as part of a restructure of its leadership team.

Elmar Heggen

Elmar Heggen will take on the newly created role of COO, adding to his duties as deputy CEO at Fremantle’s parent company.

Heggen, who had been RTL Group’s CFO since 2006, will be responsible for coordinating and further developing operations across the group’s international footprint. As executive director, he will continue to serve on RTL Group’s board of directors.

Replacing Heggen as CFO is Björn Bauer, currently executive VP of corporate controlling and strategy at RTL parent Bertelsmann. Bauer also becomes a member of the executive committee alongside RTL Group CEO Thomas Rabe and Heggen.

Bauer has served in several senior executive positions at Bertelsmann since 2007, including a stint as CFO of Bertelsmann’s US-based online learning service Relias from 2015 to 2018.

Both Heggen and Bauer will report to Rabe, who replaced Bert Habets atop RTL Group earlier this year.

RTL Group has also established a new group management committee (GMC), composed of the members of the executive committee and the CEOs of the group’s three largest business units, as part of the restructure.

Björn Bauer

Joining Rabe, Heggen and Bauer on the GMC are Bernd Reichart, CEO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland; Nicolas de Tavernost, CEO of Groupe M6; and Jennifer Mullin, CEO of Fremantle.

Rabe said: “The GMC will shape the future of our company, bringing together massive experience and different perspectives. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland will lead our newly created European advertising technology development unit, while Groupe M6 will build the technology backbone of RTL’s streaming services. And our global content business Fremantle is at the very heart of what drives our businesses – creativity and content.”

In addition, the board of directors has given the executive committee a mandate to review the role and the size of RTL Group’s corporate centre in Luxembourg.

As part of this mandate, the executive committee will also explore whether certain corporate positions could be transferred to Cologne. The review is expected to be completed by the end of next month.

RTL Group’s interests include 60 television channels, eight VoD platforms (including TV Now) and 30 radio stations.

As Europe’s largest broadcaster, RTL Group owns RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Hungary and Antena 3 in Spain.

Meanwhile, its content production arm, Fremantle, is one of the largest international creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content in the world.

RTL Group’s digital video businesses include BroadbandTV, Divimove, United Screens and Fremantle’s 300+ YouTube channels.

Last month RTL Group set up a creative unit that will develop non-scripted formats exclusively for its broadcasters and streamers across Europe.

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