German channel failed to reverse decline

Guido Bolten, managing director of struggling German channel Sat.1, is ankling after just 14 months.

Andreas Bartl, head of German Free TV at parent group ProSiebenSat.1, will replace Bolten.

Bolten was tasked with reviving the channel, which has seen market share drop steadily over the years.

Despite budget cuts at parent group ProSiebenSat.1, Bolten was allowed major investments in high-profile personalities Oliver Pocher, the latenight entertainer lured away from pubcaster ARD, and Johannes B. Kerner, the talkshow host poached from pubcaster ZDF.

But the shows flopped and the channel has languished. Sat.1’s most successful primetime shows remain U.S. hits “NCIS” and “The Mentalist.”The web is still recovering after being forced to shift from Berlin to its parent company headquarters in Munich last year, a move that triggered loud protests from longtime employees and resulted in the loss of 225 jobs.

“Sat.1 is our most important channel and because it has the broadest target audience, it’s also our strongest in terms of revenue,” said Bartl. “Reliability and the trust of our viewers as well as our advertising customers have the highest priority. I will therefore head the channel for the time being.”

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