Media: Bonus system for RBB executives abolished

The search for an interim solution at the top of the crisis-ridden Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) continues.

Media: Bonus system for RBB executives abolished

The search for an interim solution at the top of the crisis-ridden Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) continues.

A Broadcasting Council meeting on Wednesday - theoretically there could also have been elections there - had been canceled by the independent control body the previous evening at short notice. Observers are now looking to the next week. The next meeting of the Broadcasting Council is scheduled for September 7th.

Meanwhile, the other control body, the RBB board of directors, created facts in another matter. The controversial bonus system for executives at the ARD broadcaster will be abolished. This was announced by the Chair of the Board of Directors, Dorette König, on Tuesday evening to the German Press Agency.

The processing is progressing slowly

According to König, variable remuneration should no longer be agreed in future contracts. The existing contracts will be negotiated bilaterally with the RBB employees. The bonus system has come under heavy criticism in the wake of the allegations. There are no such bonuses in other ARD houses.

The acting Chairman of the Broadcasting Council, Dieter Pienkny, justified the cancellation of the Broadcasting Council meeting as follows: "We still need a few days in the selection committee to look at a few more candidates." At the same time, he made it clear that they were aware that there was a small window of opportunity to find an interim solution. The names of potential candidates have not yet been officially announced.

The ARD broadcaster has been experiencing very uncertain times for weeks. Allegations of nepotism and the felt against Schlesinger and the resigned chief inspector Wolf-Dieter Wolf are in the room. Among other things, it is about consulting contracts for an RBB construction project, bonus payments and a strong salary increase for Schlesinger.

Both deny the allegations. The Berlin Public Prosecutor's Office is currently investigating both of them as well as Schlesinger's husband, ex-"Spiegel" journalist Gerhard Spörl, on suspicion of infidelity and accepting benefits. It is the presumption of innocence. Spörl received orders from the state-owned Messe Berlin – Wolf had also been head of the supervisory board there in personal union until his resignation in the RBB affair. The Supervisory Board of Messe Berlin meets on Thursday. There could also be at least an interim status on ongoing compliance investigations into the case.

The remaining RBB management is also criticized for dealing with the crisis. Hence the demand for an interim director. The editorial committee, representing the editors, demanded the resignation of the entire management. The ARD houses recently made public in an unprecedented campaign that they have no confidence in the RBB management in dealing with the crisis.

The Board of Directors also decided to recommend that the other control body, the Broadcasting Council, not approve the 2021 annual financial statements of the public broadcaster RBB at this point in time. König referred to the ongoing investigations by a law firm into the allegations of nepotism and felony allegations against Schlesinger and Wolf. Also at the RBB advertising subsidiary RBB Media, part of the management and the supervisory board were not relieved, as RBB Media said. The RBB also reported that a managing director had been dismissed there.

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