Hans Seger steps down from Premiere

German pay TV group loses fourth board member

COLOGNE, Germany -- Hans Seger has resigned as chief programming director at Premiere.

Seger's exit, which had been expected, marks the fourth member of the board to step down this year as the German pay TV group struggles with its financials and a rock-bottom share price.

The past few months has seen most of the company's old guard leave, including CEO Michael Bornicke and CFO Alexander Teschner. Marketing and distribution head Oliver Kaltner jumped ship after less than three months on the job.

The resignations followed news that Premiere had overstated its subscriber figures, claiming some 1 million more customers than were actually on the books.

Nicola Bamford, director of channels at BSkyB, will take over Seger's job and sit on Premiere's board as senior vp programming.

The move completes News Corp.'s coup at Premiere.

Rupert Murdoch's company controls just 25% of the German pay TV group but has successfully claimed most of the key management positions. Mark Williams has taken over both CEO and CFO jobs and has brought in a sales and marketing team from News Corp.'s successful Sky Italia operation in a bid to turn Premiere around.