RTL boosts domestic fare

Fall lineup targets younger auds

BERLIN — Top German commercial web RTL will pump up its domestic production volume next year, RTL managing director Helmut Thoma told reporters Wednesday at a press conference in Cologne.

The web is spending 1.15 billion marks ($657 million) on programming in 1998, and will invest 1.2 billion marks ($686 million) in 1999. Homegrown productions make up the bulk of RTL’s programming.

“German viewers want to see mainly German productions,” RTL programming director Marc Conrad said. The network’s fall lineup includes a number of comedies and series aimed at younger viewers.

Thoma expects RTL to report profits of around $135 million in 1998 and $155 million in 1999 — up from $97 million in 1997.

Thoma and Conrad exit their posts at RTL next month. Gerhard Zeiler, director of Austrian pubcaster ORF, will take over the helm at RTL this fall.

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