Christoph Burge quits Sat.1

Decision emblematic of reaction to HQ shift

COLOGNE, Germany -- Christoph Burge has resigned as head of entertainment programming at Sat.1 amid major restructuring at the German channel.

Sat.1 said that Burge has decided to resign his post by mid-year rather than make the move from the channel's current headquarters in Berlin to more modest digs outside Munich, where parent company ProSiebenSat.1 is located.

He is not alone. Sources near the channel say that only 32 of the 222 Sat.1 employees scheduled to make the move have agreed to uproot. ProSiebenSat.1 has confirmed it may have to pay up to half a million dollars in compensation to Sat.1 employees who decide to take a pink slip instead.

The move is part of a major restructuring at ProSiebenSat.1, which is struggling under more than $4 billion in debt, largely due to the expensive acquisition of Pan-European broadcaster SBS in 2007.

Ironically, Burge owes his current job to that deal. He joined Sat.1 last summer from SBS Romania.