German Vox web chief out

Erich Staake, chief of ailing German private web Vox, is out effective immediately, the station’s board announced Thursday.

Bernd Schiphorst, president of Ufa, will take over Staake’s job for the time being. Ufa, Bertelsmann’s electronic media arm, is a major shareholder in the information-oriented web.

Since startup six months ago, Vox’s earnings and market share have fallen far short of expectations. Last month, program director Ruprecht Eser abruptly departed. Eser’s successor, Klaus Klenke, assumed his post July 1.

In addition to heavy losses, Vox is plagued by rumors that shareholders, particularly the Holzbrinck Group, want to bail out. The station is currently trying to boost ratings by acquiring rights to high-profile tennis matches.

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