Thomas Rabe
Courtesy of Bertelsmann



Chairman & CEO / CEO, RTL Group

In late 2020, German media giant Bertelsmann further strengthened its global footprint, particularly in the U.S., its second-largest market, with the acquisition of publishing house Simon & Schuster by its subsidiary Penguin Random House. The group drives consolidation in Europe’s markets and has made strides toward creating what it calls “national media champions.” This year it pushed forward with the planned merger of Bertelsmann’s French TV broadcaster M6 with rival TF1 and its Dutch broadcaster RTL Nederland with content producer Talpa. It also completed the merger of its German broadcaster RTL Deutschland with publishing house Gruner + Jahr. Bertelsmann closed the first half of the year with €1.37 billion profit — the highest in 19 years. The group forecasts annual profits of close to €2 billion.


  • RTL Group
  • Bertelsmann
  • Clearstream


  • University of Colonge (Germany)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2019 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2020 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

RTL Group Revenue Reaches All-Time High, Driven by Fremantle and Digital

RTL Group Revenue Reaches All-Time High, Driven by Fremantle and Digital

European broadcasting giant RTL Group on Friday reported a 10% increase in 2019 profit as revenue reached a record €6.65 billion ($7.44 billion), driven mainly by higher sales from global content unit Fremantle and its digital business.With sales up 3.2%, 2019 marked the fifth consecutive year that RTL’s revenue reached record levels.The group's earnings grew 10.1% to €864 million ($966.3 million) year on year, due largely to the capital gain from the disposal of film distribution unit Universum Film, which...


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