ARCHIV - 01.06.2022, Sachsen, Leipzig: Patricia Schlesinger, damalige Intendantin des RBB und ARD-Vorsitzende, spricht auf dem Eröffnungspanel der Medientage Mitteldeutschland in Leipzig. (zu dpa: «Schlesinger-Affäre: NDR-Anti-Korruptionsbeauftragte prüft Göring-Film») Foto: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The voices of the weekend were probably too powerful. Shortly before the planned special session of the Broadcasting Council on Monday to resign from RBB director Patricia Schlesinger, calls for reforms are increasing. The public service broadcaster (ÖRR) needs new structures “urgently, immediately”, writes the former NDR broadcasting director Lea Rosh in a letter to the editor in the Tagesspiegel on Sunday.

This should also include checks “that prevent such a destruction of money,” demanded the journalist, with a view to the expenses of the director of the RBB, who resigned a week ago.

The RBB broadcasting council and board of directors would also have to “resign, immediately,” demanded Rosh, who was director of the NDR state broadcasting center in Hanover from 1991 to 1997. Both bodies approved the station’s expenses, including Schlesinger’s salary increase of 16 percent to 303,000 euros. At the same time, savings are being made on the program and on freelancers.

The Broadcasting Council wants to meet on Monday for a special session on the planned termination of Schlesinger’s contract.

CDU leader Friedrich Merz, who at the weekend warned of the need for reform and concentration on the information mandate at the ÖRR, and the chairman of the German Association of Journalists, Frank Überall, also pointed in Rosh’s direction with the demand that the Broadcasting Council not be hasty when the contract was terminated by Schlesinger act. A dismissal without notice would be “certainly the better way”, writes Überall in the Tagesspiegel. The committee must pay attention to “which payment obligations still arise from the contributions made by the citizens”.

However, there are other internals that cast a bad light on the RBB leadership. The online portal “Business Insider” reports that there were preliminary talks before committee meetings, for which no minutes are said to have been kept. In addition, there should be confidential special reports beyond the station’s annual reports, and Schlesinger’s entire salary should be listed in a paper. So far, the amount of bonus payments is not known.

A spokesman for the public broadcaster said: “There were preliminary meetings with parts of the board of directors, we cannot provide any information about the content.” The preliminary meetings served to coordinate current developments at short notice since the agenda was sent and the time management of the meeting. “They didn’t have any other focal points.”

The broadcaster also said that the RBB state contract does not provide for the publication of an annual report. The subject of annual reports is firmly on the table.

Patricia Schlesinger has been accused of nepotism for weeks. In addition to the 61-year-old, the focus is also on Wolf-Dieter Wolf. It is also about questionable orders for Schlesinger’s husband at Messe Berlin, where Wolf was the head of the supervisory board until his resignation.

The managing director Hagen Brandstätter said in the RBB “media magazine”: “The four-eyes principle applies to all travel requests and all expense reports from the managing director. A member of the management countersigns, that was not the case before.”