Puffer ankles Kirch pay TV unit

Boernnicke, Kayser, Seger to head exec board

BERLIN — An executive shakedown at German media giant Kirch’s pay TV division has resulted in the exit of Manfred Puffer, CEO of financially troubled multichannel digital platform Premiere World.

Puffer headed the web for only nine months. Premiere World’s inability to attract subscribers, plus estimated losses of about half a billion dollars a year, cost Puffer’s predecessor, Markus Tellenbach, his job.

Premiere World will be managed by an executive board including KirchPayTV finance chief Michael Boernnicke, chief operating officer Ferdinand Kayser and chief product officer Hans Seger.

Peter Mihatsch, formerly head of Kirch Holding’s technology and networks division, will be chairman of the KirchPayTV supervisory board, replacing Dieter Hahn.

Hahn, who is also deputy CEO of the Kirch Group, has left to become chairman of the executive board at Kirch Media upon its merger with broadcasting subsid ProSiebenSat 1 next year. In the meantime, Hahn is prepping the merger and subsequent public listing of Kirch Media.

Meanwhile, at Kirch’s tech development division BetaResearch, David Gillies will be stepping up to the top job following company chief Gabor Toth’s move to Kirch Holding, where he will be an adviser.

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