ProSiebenSat.1 sells all-news channel N24

Deal creates new indie German TV production giant

COLOGNE, Germany -- ProSiebenSat.1 has sold its all-news channel N24 in a management buy-out deal to N24 bosses Torsten Rossman, Stefan Aust and Thorsten Pollfuss for an undisclosed sum.

Rossmann, Aust and Pollfuss also took control of ProSieben subsidiary Maz & More, the production outfit responsible for the bulk of N24's programming.

The deal creates a new indie production giant on the German TV landscape with three small screen veterans at the helm. Rossmann used to run ProSieben's network flagship Sat.1 before shifting to N24. Aust is arguably Germany's best-known investigative journalist. His book on German terrorists in the 1970s was turned into Uli Edel's Oscar-nominated film "The Baader Meinhof Complex" (2008). Pollfuss come from Spiegel TV, Germany's "60 Minutes," where Aust used to be commissioning editor.

At its core the agreement amounts to ProSiebenSat.1 outsourcing its money-losing news business. The new company -- N24 Media -- will continue to deliver news to ProSieben's channels through 2016. N24 Media will also continue to produce Sat.1's breakfast and news magazine programs until at least mid-2014.

Peter Limbourg, currently N24 news head, will shift back to the parent company, taking over a new role as svp of news and political information at ProSiebenSat.1.
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