Executive shuffle at EM SportMedia

Bernhard Burgener tapped as chief exec

COLOGNE, Germany -- The shareholders of rights group EM SportMedia on Wednesday approved an executive shift that will see Bernhard Burgener, president of Swiss-based Highlight Communications, take over from Werner E. Klatten as chief executive of EM.

The move is part of a larger plan, orchestrated by Munich mogul Leo Kirch, to merge EM with Highlight to create a European sports rights giant.

EM holds 37.6% of Highlight and plans to increase its stake to facilitate a merger. As part of the deal, EM has already made a takeover bid for German film group Constantin, which Highlight controls.