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RTL CEO quits after 3 months

Chief exec Zeiler will take control of channel

BERLIN — In a major shakeup at Germany’s leading commercial web, RTL Television’s CEO, Marc Conrad, ankled Thursday after only three months on the job.

Gerhard Zeiler, chief exec of parent RTL Group, will again take control of the Cologne-based channel, which he left in November to concentrate on managing the Luxembourg-based group, Europe’s biggest broadcasting company.

According to an official statement, Zeiler and Conrad mutually agreed on the move. Conrad will go back to producing.

Zeiler has appointed Anke Schaeferkordt, head of RTL Group’s German web Vox, the group’s chief operating officer. Schaeferkordt will oversee Vox until a replacement is found.

Conrad was RTL programming director for most of the 1990s. He left to set up Typhoon Networks, a film-TV production company that produces RTL cop show “Abschnitt 40” plus small-screen and theatrical features.

Conrad is an independent operator, and sources have attributed his exit to a clash of vision with Zeiler.

Earlier this month, RTL2 sacked managing director Josef Andorfer. Andorfer butted heads with Zeiler and fellow RTL2 shareholder and Tele Munchen topper Herbert Kloiber over the broadcaster’s direction.

“Marc Conrad is an extraordinary and creative TV professional,” Zeiler said. “The fact that we have ended our collaboration does not mean that we will no longer work together in the future.”

Conrad added: “The past months were interesting and very educational. I am happy to continue my collaboration with Gerhard Zeiler in another form.”

Zeiler said his management teams in Luxembourg and in Cologne would make it possible for him to handle duties at both companies.

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