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Bert Habets to Co-Lead European Media Giant RTL Group

Bert Habets, CEO of RTL Nederland, is to replace Anke Schaeferkordt as co-CEO of European media giant RTL Group, serving alongside Guillaume de Posch.

RTL Group owns or part owns 60 television channels and 31 radio stations, multiple production companies, such as FremantleMedia, and rapidly growing digital video businesses. The TV portfolio includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, and Hungary, and Antena 3 in Spain.

Schaeferkordt will continue to serve as the CEO of the group’s largest business unit, German broadcast network Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, which she has led since 2005. She will also remain on the executive board of Bertelsmann, RTL Group’s majority shareholder. The changes will take effect from the annual general meeting on April 19. Habets will continue to lead RTL Nederland for the time being, with a new CEO set to be in place by the end of this year.

Habets joined RTL Group in 1999 in the business development unit of CLT-UFA, which later became RTL Group. In 2001, he was appointed CFO of Holland Media Group, which rebranded as RTL Nederland in 2004. In 2008, he was upped to CEO.

Under his leadership, the company “established a clear strategy of strengthening the core business, while diversifying and innovating,” according to a statement. “[He] has significantly grown RTL Nederland’s digital businesses… while moving into other commercial areas, such as RTL Ventures and RTL Live Entertainment.”

Habets also strengthened the company’s major free-TV channels and oversaw the launch of three new pay-TV channels (RTL Lounge, RTL Crime, RTL Telekids) as well as the new free-TV channel RTL Z.

“With these strategic moves, he has transformed RTL Nederland from a traditional broadcaster into an all-round media and entertainment company,” the statement continued.

Thomas Rabe, chairman of the RTL Group board, said: “Since Bert Habets joined our group in 1999, he has proven his outstanding leadership and creative skills. He transformed RTL Nederland from a traditional broadcaster into a media company [that] entertains its audience across all digital platforms. [He] embodies RTL Group’s total video strategy.”

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