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ProSiebenSat.1’s PULS 4 Acquires Austria’s ATV

Thomas Gruber appointed as new managing director of ATV with immediate effect

The Gilmore Girls
Frank Ockenfels/Warner Bros/REX/Shutterstock

ProSiebenSat.1’s Austrian terrestrial television channel PULS 4 has acquired Austrian broadcasting group ATV. The deal, which sees PULS 4 purchase ATV from Tele Muenchen Fernseh GmbH & Co. Produktionsgesellschaft, was concluded Thursday after receiving the green light from Austrian media and anti-trust authorities.

The acquisition brought an immediate change of management to ATV, Austria’s largest commercial television station, with Thomas Gruber appointed as its new managing director. Gruber previously served as program director on the management board of ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4.

Folding ATV into ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 Group’s operations is also expected to result in the loss of about 70 jobs.

“Through the integration into ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 Group and the necessary implementation of the planned restructuring, we are securing ATV’s position in the Austrian TV market in the long run and enabling new growth opportunities for the station,” Gruber said.

ATV is the Austrian home of such U.S. hits as “Gilmore Girls” (pictured), “King of Queens,” “Mike and Molly” and “Two and a Half Men.” Gruber called the station “a very good complement to the ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 portfolio” and said he expects ATV to “create more Austrian-flavored prime-time offerings.”

PULS 4 also plans to integrate ATV into ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 Group’s administration, purchasing, marketing, and other operations by the beginning of 2018. Bernhard Albrecht, CFO of ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 Group, will lead the restructuring and the merger alongside Gruber in the coming weeks.

“In light of the urgent need for economic restructuring at ATV, we will consolidate the organization of the station group,” said Albrecht. “This is expected to result in the loss of around 70 jobs at ATV by the beginning of 2018. At the same time, we will be immediately speaking to all partners and suppliers of ATV in order to amalgamate agreements and to jointly make the restructuring a success.”