Dhe journalist and media manager Martin Grasmück is the new director of Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR). The Broadcasting Council elected him to the highest office of the public broadcaster on Tuesday, as the chairman of the committee, Gisela Rink, said after the election in Saarbrücken.
Grasmück is currently Deputy Program Director at the SR. His competitors for the election were SR editor-in-chief Armgard Müller-Adams and ARD editor-in-chief Rainald Becker. Grasmück’s term of office begins on May 1st and lasts for six years.
After his election victory, the future director said: “To be elected with a two-thirds majority is a great success for me – also for my concept with which I started.” He is very happy to accept the contract. “This mandate to lead the SR into a good future, into a digital future, but above all as an independent state broadcaster for the Saarland, for the people in the greater region.” At the same time, he wanted the SR to make its contribution in I will continue to actively contribute to the federal network of ARD in the future and work actively there. Grasmück emphasized: “That is very important to me, because public broadcasting is a very important cornerstone for our democratic system, for our society. We have to prove this over and over again every day. And the umpire will do his part. “
The election had become necessary because director Thomas Kleist (65), who has been in office since 2011, will be leaving at the end of April. Actually, his term of office would have lasted two years. He justified his step, among other things, with the fact that he wanted to pass the baton on to the younger generation.
Grasmück describes itself as the “house plant” of the SR. It all started in 1992 while still a student – he has been working in management positions for more than 13 years. The deputy program director stands for innovation, for example in the pop wave area or with offers on the Internet for younger people. Grasmück knows not only the journalistic side but also the administrative and managerial level. From around 2008 to 2015 he was head of the Intendanz department, first under Artistic Director Fritz Raff and then under Kleist.
On Monday, the election among the three candidates had not yet resulted in a result because the necessary two-thirds majority was missing. On Tuesday, Becker withdrew his application for the continuation. In the end, Grasmück reportedly received 26 votes – so his victory was clear. 38 out of 39 members of the Broadcasting Council participated in the election.
The Broadcasting Council Chairwoman Rink spoke of a “very, very good result” in the seventh ballot. She wished Grasmück “all the best, lots of success and a good hand” and announced that she wanted to work with him “constructively but also critically”, because that was the task of the committees.
The Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) said of the election result of the Broadcasting Council: “I am convinced that Martin Grasmück is the right person at the right time to steer Saarland Broadcasting into the future, even in troubled times.”
The Saarländischer Rundfunk employs around 620 people in 544 positions as well as almost 200 freelance workers (permanent freelancers). With Radio Bremen, the public broadcaster is one of the smallest of the nine ARD stations. The financial situation of both broadcasters has been tense for some time, but especially since the increase in the broadcasting fee from 17.50 euros to 18.36 euros blocked by Saxony-Anhalt.