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Bertelsmann reups CEO

Thielen earns another three years

German media and publishing giant Bertelsmann announced Friday that its supervisory board has unanimously voted to extend CEO Gunter Thielen’s contract through Aug. 31, 2007.

Thielen, 61, took the job in August 2002 following the ouster of former CEO Thomas Middelhoff.

Separately, the head of Bertelsmann’s Gruner + Jahr USA publishing division, Daniel Brewster, was forced out late last week. Axel Ganz, topper of Gruner + Jahr’s international magazine group, will assume Brewster’s position until a replacement is found.

Brewster joined G + J nearly four years ago from American Express publishing. One of his most noteworthy moves was to shutter storied women’s magazine McCalls and morph it into Rosie with comedian and former talkshow host Rosie O’ Donnell. The publication failed, prompting a bitter and highly public court battle between O’Donnell and her publisher last year. The trial, a public relations fiasco for Gruner + Jahr, ended inconclusively, with no damages awarded to either side.

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