Schmitter named CEO of RTL Deutschland

November 15, 2023

RTL Deutschland has announced that Stephan Schmitter will become CEO of the German media company effective January 1st 2024.

In addition to his current role of Chief Content Officer, Schmitter will take charge of streaming service RTL+ and the reorganised publishing business Gruner + Jahr in his new role.

As of January 1t 2024, the Management Board of RTL Deutschland will consist of: Schmitter (CEO), Matthias Dang (Chief Commercial, Technology and Data Officer), Andreas Fischer (Chief Operating Officer) and Ingrid Heisserer (Chief Financial Officer & Chief Human Resources Officer).

Thomas Rabe, CEO of parent company RTL Group and current Chairman of the Management Board of RTL Deutschland, commented: “Stephan Schmitter lives and embodies RTL. He is an entrepreneur with an extraordinary flair for content and a collaborative management style. As Chief Content Officer and member of the Management Board, he has set the course for the future in a short amount of time. This year, RTL was the only main channel in Germany to increase its audience share in the key target group. VOX became the second most popular commercial channel, and our family of channels significantly expanded its market leadership. At the same time, we continued the growth trajectory of our streaming service RTL+, which currently has around 4.7 million subscribers. I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with Stephan Schmitter and I wish him every success in his new role.”

Rabe added: “My sincere thanks goes to the entire management team and all colleagues of RTL Deutschland for their great support and commitment. Over the past 15 months, we have established a new Management Board at RTL Deutschland and, in a difficult market environment, we have invested massively in the transformation of our business – in first-class content, streaming, Stern+, Gruner + Jahr and advertising technology.”

Schmitter said: “I am looking forward to taking on this new entrepreneurial challenge and would like to thank Thomas Rabe and RTL Group’s Executive Committee for their trust. I am convinced we have everything we need to continue shaping the transformation of our business, with great speed and from a position of strength. Our goal is to have leading brands in all genres that move and inspire our audiences in Germany, alongside outstanding colleagues full of creative power. And I believe we have the courage to take decisive action in an intensely competitive environment. Over the past few months, the Management Board has developed a clear strategy for this, which we will implement with all our strength and passion.”

Schmitter joined RTL Group in May 2004 as Managing Director of the Berlin-based radio station 105’5 Spreeradio. In October 2007, he additionally became Managing Director of 104.6 RTL, the local market leader in Berlin, and of RCB Radio Center Berlin (now RTL Audio Center Berlin). In January 2018, Schmitter became CEO of RTL Radio Deutschland, and in May 2019, he additionally took on the role of Head of Audio at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland (now RTL Deutschland). In September 2020, Schmitter additionally became one of the Managing Directors of infoNetwork, before being appointed Managing Director of the newly founded RTL News GmbH in February 2021. Following the combination of RTL Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr in January 2022, Schmitter took over as Chief Journalistic Content Officer at RTL Deutschland, before being appointed to the Management Board of RTL Deutschland in November 2022. As Chief Content Officer, he has since been responsible for all content and brands of RTL Deutschland.