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ProSieben Sat.1 appoints Markus Breitenecker to exec board

Separately, executive board member Christine Scheffler will leave at the end of the month.

Separately, executive board member Christine Scheffler will leave at the end of the month.

Markus Breitenecker. (Courtesy photo)
Markus Breitenecker. (Courtesy photo)

The board of directors at German broadcaster ProSieben Sat.1 has appointed Markus Breitenecker to a new executive role.

Starting next month, Breitenecker will serve as the Chief Operating Officer of ProSieben Sat.1’s entertainment division, a role that will see him managing all aspects of the company’s streaming and digital video platforms.

In addition to ProSieben Sat.1’s entertainment businesses in Germany, Breitenecker will also oversee digital and streaming video initiatives in Switzerland and Austria.

“Markus Breitenecker is a proven TV and streaming expert and has been extremely successful in the company for 25 years,” Adnreas Wiele, the supervisor of ProSieben Sat.1’s board, said in a statement on Monday. “He built up the broadcasting group in Austria, and most recently developed Joyn Austria into the market leader within just one year. Under the leadership of Bert Habets, the two will now work together to implement the successfully introduced entertainment strategy even more consistently and quickly.”

“I would like to thank the [board of directors] for its trust,” Breitenecker said. “Streaming, and Joyn in particular, is at the heart of our entertainment business. I look forward to working more closely with Bert Habets, and to further expanding Joyn with this great team and developing it into one of the leading streaming players in the [German, Austrian and Swiss] region.”

Breitenecker has worked for ProSieben Sat.1’s Austria business unit since 1998. He helped develop general entertainment networks like Puls 4, ATV and ATV2, along with the news channel Puls 24.

Breitenecker also helped develop and launch Zappn, a streaming video platform that merged with Joyn last year. Joyn has become one of the largest domestic streaming services in Austria, rivaling Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon’s Prime Video.

“I know and appreciate Markus Breitenecker as a very committed and experienced media manager with a passion for entertainment,” Habets, the Chairman of the Board at ProSieben Sat.1 Media, said in a statement. “I look forward to driving and developing the business together with him.”

With Breitenecker’s appointment, the supervisory board at ProSieben Sat.1 will terminate the executive contract of Christine Scheffler, who is leaving the company at the end of March due to a difference in opinion over the direction of the media firm.

“With Christine Scheffler, we are losing a very experienced transformer and a valued colleague on the Executive Board,” Wiele said in a separate statement. “We would like to thank Christine Scheffler for her highly professional HR work, her innovative spirit, and her passion for our approximately 7,000 employees worldwide. On behalf of the entire Supervisory Board, we wish her all the best for the future and continued success.”

“ProSiebenSat.1 stands for dynamism and change,” Scheffler said on Monday. “Thanks to a great team, we have successfully implemented essential projects together over the last few years and thus made an important contribution to the modernisation and realignment of this great Group. Last year, we set the course for ProSiebenSat.1’s next development steps with an extensive transformation and personnel restructuring program. I would like to thank my colleagues for the intensive and eventful years together.”

Habets said he was sad to see Scheffler leave the company, but was “grateful for the pleasant and cooperative collaboration over the past two years.”

“It has been an intense journey and I thank her for her support and for her contribution to the transformation of the Group,” Habets affirmed. “I wish her, on behalf of the Executive Board, all the best for her future.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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