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Kirch raises brass

German media giant streamlines management

BERLIN — German media heavyweight the Kirch Group has upped its top personnel to join founder Leo Kirch in managing the newly created centralized Kirch Holding, which is designed to bring the previously muddled company structure in line with other international corporations.

Until now, Leo Kirch solely has managed the company’s central org, the KirchVermoegensVerwaltung, which will be replaced by the holding company.

“This is an important step for the future of our company and we are well equipped to meet the challenges of the coming years,” Kirch said.

Under the new structure, he will operate as chairman of Kirch Holding with Dieter Hahn, who will serve as vice chairman above four other managing directors who will each carry their own areas of responsibility.

Hahn’s duties include communications, sports, multimedia and the company’s subdivision, Kirch Pay TV, which will be placed under the main holding entity.

Mojto mojo

Kirch vet player Jan Mojto will serve on the Kirch Holding management board and has been named head of the subsid KirchMedia, which holds the company’s free TV, production and rights-trading activities as well as the joint venture with Italy’s Mediaset, Eureka. Mojto also will continue to oversee programming.

Klaus Piette will head Kirch’s subholding KirchBeteiligungs, which contains technical development companies and diverse assets such as a stake in film distrib Constantin Film.

New to the company is ex-banker Manfred Puffer, who will head up finance and controlling.

Company began spring cleaning early last year in an attempt to make the company accessible to new partners and secure for the future should the elderly Kirch step down.

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