After the scandal surrounding the former RBB director Patricia Schlesinger, RBB kicked out its entire senior management in recent months. Four former directors of the broadcaster were fired without notice – they are now fighting the dismissal before the Berlin Labor Court. The former director, Verena Formen-Mohr, is affected Legal director Susann Langethe production and operations director Christoph Augenstein and – this case was recently added – the former administrative director Hagen Brandstätter, who had temporarily taken over the directorship immediately after Schlesinger’s release.
At the beginning of February, RBB informed its employees on the intranet that Brandstätter and Augenstein, the last remaining members of the former management, had to go. The new interim director Katrin Vernau commented on the decision with the words: “This is a turning point and will help us to start over at RBB.” Vernau and the broadcaster did not provide any information as to why they had been terminated without notice.
The agreement is more difficult, “because it is also about high salary claims”
The legal disputes are now before the labor court. Usually, quality dates are set in these procedures, on which both sides can agree. In the case of Verena Formen-Mohr and Susann Lange, these dates have already passed and brought no results. “RBB is not willing to make a comparison,” said a lawyer in January on the occasion of Susann Lange’s appointment. It is still unclear whether the broadcaster will agree to an agreement in the coming month in the case of Christoph Augenstein. Even in the most recent case of Brandstätter, a quality date is still pending – according to SZ information, it has not yet been scheduled.
All four procedures are not only special because of the great interest in the processing in the RBB. “The amicable settlement is more difficult in these cases, because it is also about high salary claims,” says the spokeswoman for the labor court, Andrea Baer. For reasons of privacy and data protection, no further information is given on the totals and details of the cases. If necessary, however, they could be discussed at the public chamber meetings.
Incidentally, a fifth member of the management board from the Schlesinger era was not dismissed and left more quietly: the former program director Jan Schulte-Kellinghaus had left the station of his own volition and waived his contractually guaranteed pension. How Business Insider reported that he is said to have agreed with the broadcaster on a severance payment that corresponds to a little less than two of his annual salaries.