Hans Grimm will be the new chief of German private web Sat 1, replacing Werner Klatten, who was dismissed by the station’s board in late May.

The appointment of adman Grimm came as a surprise in media circles.

It was widely expected that an exec from Switzerland’s Beisheim group would win the post. RTL’s program director Marc Conrad had also been mentioned as a possible successor.

Grimm, currently head of Germany’s Loewe Group, an ad agency, takes over the Sat 1 post on Sept. 1.

He said in a press statement: “I’m happy about the unique challenge in the highly competitive German television market with all of its creative possibilities. I can bring my many years of experience in working with creative personalities and marketing together here.”

As chief business director of the station, Grimm will work with Sat 1’s two other business managers, Jurgen Doetz and Klaus Semrau. He’ll also supervise the station’s three program chiefs.

The new boss will have his work cut out for him. Sat 1, owned by Leo Kirch and the Axel Springer Verlag, is under antitrust investigation by media authorities and is not quite managing to keep apace of rival private web RTL.

Springer board director Gunter Wille said of Grimm’s appointment, “He’s the best with media business, that is to say the earnings side of a private station.”

Before heading the Loewe Group, Grimm spent years in Germany’s ad industry, holding top positions with Leo Burnett, Ted Bates and others.

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