Andreas Bartl Resigns from ProSiebenSat.1

6:13 AM PST 02/23/2012 by Scott Roxborough

The 20-year veteran ran German TV operations at the broadcast giant.

COLOGNE, Germany - Andreas Bartl, one of the key figures in the German television industry, has resigned from his post on the executive board of broadcast giant ProSiebenSat.1.

After 20 years at ProSieben, and jobs that included the running of all three of the group’s flagship channels: Pro7, Sat.1 and Kabel 1, Bartl will step down March 1 to set up his own company, Bartl Media, dedicated to the development of new TV stations, programming and TV talents. He will continue to act as a consultant to ProSiebenSat.1.

Few execs have had the impact Bartl has had on ProSiebenSat.1. Some of his greatest achievements have been establishing hit entertainment formats on the network’s channels, including Schlag den Raab, Germany’s Next Top Model and, most recently, talent competition format The Voice of Germany. Bartl was also a key player in the launch of ProSieben’s female-focused channel Sixx, which has been a commercial success.

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"Andreas Bartl has helped shape ProSiebenSat.1 in ways that hardly anyone else can match,” said company CEO Thomas Ebeling. “You could almost call his career with us a classic. He came out of the `machine room,´ as he himself likes to say, and built up more and more management experience on that solid foundation, until he finally came to manage Germany´s largest integrated family of stations."

But even Bartl was unable to revive the fortunes at Sat.1, the group’s largest channel but one that has been consistently outpaced by market leader RTL in Germany. In addition to his executive board duties, Bartl ran Sat.1 for more than a year. He gave up that post last October, with little improvement at Sat.1. Many suspect the failure to boost the channel’s ratings led to conflicts between Bartl and ProSieben management and to Bartl’s resignation.

ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Ebeling will temporarily take over Bartl’s duties on the executive board until a replacement is found. His job as chairman of the group’s Germany TV operations will be handled by Pro7 managing director Jürgen Hörner.

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