Broadcasting contribution: This is how much the directors earn (update on the resignation)

The salaries of the directors of ARD and ZDF are also paid from the broadcasting fee. The top earner collects 413,000 euros per year. The rbb director has now resigned, the image damage caused by her is likely to be great.

One of the hot topics in connection with the broadcasting fee is the use of the funds generated by it. The focus is primarily on the salaries of the directors. Business Insider has compiled how much some directors make based on research from the world (behind paywall).

16 percent more salary

The debate, which has been going on for some time, about how appropriate the salaries of the directors (i.e. the heads of the ARD broadcasting corporations and ZDF) are, recently picked up speed again: The salary of Patricia Schlesinger, director of the rbb Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg and currently also ARD chairman, rose by 16 percent to 303,000 euros, while savings have to be made on the other personnel costs of the rbb station. That was bound to provoke criticism. Especially since there are also allegations of controversial consulting contracts. Schlesinger was recently willing to renegotiate her salary.

Update August 8: Intendant of the rbb resigns

On August 4th, 2022, the controversial RBB director Patricia Schlesinger resigned from her position as ARD chairwoman, as reported by the Tagesschau. She initially remained director of rbb. West German Broadcasting (WDR) took over the day-to-day official business. On August 7th, 2022, Schlesinger resigned as rbb director. Critics speak of a major damage to the public broadcaster’s image caused by the events surrounding Schlesinger.

Schlesinger has been criticized for controversial consultancy contracts, conflicts of interest, disputed cost accounting and the use of her company car. The most recent salary increase for the artistic director has also been criticized because savings are generally the order of the day at the station.

update end

These are the top earners

However, Schlesinger’s salary is by no means unusually high if you look at what other ARD directors collect. Basically, the rule of thumb applies: the larger the budget of the broadcaster and thus the share of the broadcasting fee, the higher the salary of the director. Tom Buhrow, the director of WDR, can look forward to 413,000 euros per year – that is significantly more than in 2019, as you can read here: Broadcasting fee – an ARD director earns up to 395,000 euros. Kai Gniffke, who heads the SWR, gets 361,000 euros and Joachim Knuth from NDR is there with 346,000 euros per year. Katja Wildermuth from BR receives 340,000 euros.

The controversial Schlesinger, with her 303,000 euros, is in the middle of the director’s salaries. Manfred Krupp from HR comes to 305,000 euros, Karola Wille from MDR to 295,000 euros and Yvette Gerner from Radio Bremen to 281,000 euros.

The directors do not set their salaries themselves, but it is the respective supervisory bodies of the broadcasters that decide on them. So these should be the target of criticism if you think that the directors earn too much.

In Germany, the license fee for financing public broadcasting is quite controversial and there are proposals to reform public broadcasting and criticism of the use of funds. However, unlike in France, for example, abolishing the broadcasting fee is not up for discussion in Germany.

Broadcasting contribution is to increase soon – demand TV producers

The broadcasting fee will probably continue to rise – that’s the reason

Broadcasting contribution: An ARD director earns up to 395,000 euros

ARD boss aggressively defends higher broadcasting fee

France abolishes broadcasting fees – so it goes on

Broadcasting fee: No increase until 2024 – ARD, ZDF & Deutschlandradio will receive this amount

Broadcasting contribution: An ARD director earns up to 395,000 euros

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