Special payments for the ARD chairmanship: are there more layoffs at RBB?

According to a report in the Springer publication “Business Insider” (BI), RBB directors Christoph Augenstein (responsible for production and operations) and Hagen Brandstätter (administration) are threatened with immediate dismissal.

According to BI, interim director Katrin Vernau wants to part with Augenstein because the production and operations director is said to have accepted a special allowance for the ARD chairmanship of RBB. The allowance is said to have existed not only for the years 2022 and 2023, in which the RBB would have chaired the broadcaster community, but also for six months before and after that, the publication reports.

Since mid-2022 there have been new details about the RBB affair

“Business Insider” had started the RBB affair about alleged nepotism and mismanagement in the middle of last year. According to the report, Augenstein made himself vulnerable because the directors’ working papers stated that the payments covered “all activities and services” for the broadcaster and supervisory functions. In addition, Augenstein should have recognized that the board of directors had not “properly dealt with it” about the allowance.

The additional contract was signed by the former chairman of the RBB board of directors, Wolf-Dieter Wolf. In the course of the RBB affair, it was revealed that a binding four-eyes principle in the board of directors was only introduced after the first allegations.

No comment from RBB – for legal reasons

According to “Business Insider”, the special payments could also be dangerous for the long-standing administrative director Brandtäter. The broadcaster does not want to comment on the reporting – for legal reasons, as the daily mirror was informed. “It has not yet been decided” whether the directors will be dismissed.

With Augenstein and Brandstäter, the last two directors from the era of the failed ex-director Patricia Schlesinger would have to go. Schlesinger himself initially resigned from the ARD presidency in August 2022. A little later she also resigned from the position as RBB director. Two weeks later, the board of directors pronounced her dismissal without notice.

No date for Schlesinger’s lawsuit yet

Schlesinger has filed a lawsuit with the Berlin Regional Court. The court announced on request that she wanted RBB to pay her a pension. “A date for the oral hearing has not yet been set in the process.”

The position of RBB program manager has been vacant since the end of January. Jan Schulte-Kellinghaus and RBB have separated by mutual agreement. He waives his post-contractual pension entitlement. His deputy Katrin Günther will initially take on the tasks of program management.

In December, Susann Lange was dismissed as legal director of the RBB. Lange had sued against the extraordinary dismissal, a first conciliation hearing before the labor court ended without an agreement, and a new hearing date was set for June. The post of legal director was abolished.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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