RTL Hungary CEO exiting post

RTL Group’s long-serving Hungarian chief executive Dirk Gerkens is leaving his post, with Andreas Rudas appointed interim CEO.

Gerkens, who has been chief exec since 2001, has been offered another, undisclosed role within RTL, the Bertelsmann-owned broadcaster said in a press release.

The hunt for a permanent RTL Hungary CEO has begun, with RTL planning on hiring a Hungarian executive for the post to “further strengthen RTL Group’s ties with the Hungarian society”.

For now, Rudas takes on Gerkens’ responsibilities with immediate effect and will perform them alongside his duties as executive VP, regional operations and business development, CEE and Asia.

Rudas is a former ORF and WAZ Media Group executive. He joined RTL in 2009 to take on his current EVP role.

RTL has butted heads with the Hungarian government in recent times, with the Luxembourg-based channel operator critical of high advertising taxes at have affected the RTL Klub channel.

Gerkens recently told Bloomberg Businessweek he has received death threats over RTL’s position and has moved his family out of the country as a result.

The government and RTL recently began talks to lower the ad tax, which currently sees RTL Klub pay around 90% of revenues as tax despite only taking a 15% market share.

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