BERLIN — Bernd Kundrun, managing director of Hamburg pay TV web Premiere, will take over as the head of newspaper publishing at Bertelsmann’s press unit Gruner+Jahr starting Aug. 1.

Bavarian media mogul Leo Kirch, who owns a 25% stake in Premiere, has tried several times to remove Kundrun from his post at Premiere. Bertelsmann, which holds a 37.5% share in the web, had opposed these attempts.

The announcement of Kundrun’s move to Gruner+Jahr could clear the way for a merger of Premiere and Kirch’s DF1, Germany’s first digital pay TV platform.

Ferdinand Kayser, manager at Bertelsmann’s TV and film unit CLT-UFA, is favored to replace Kundrun as managing director of Premiere.

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